Equality and Diversity
Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Access counts at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
We are passionate about meeting the highest standards for everyone who accesses our services, from our patients, carers, visitors and the public, to staff who deliver the services, and to those who volunteer for us.
We know that if their experience of the Trust is positive then we will be making good achievements for all who have a vested interest in the quality of our performance as an NHS Trust.
We recognise that we serve a very diverse community with an ever evolving demographic profile, who have different needs around individual characteristics, such as gender, age, disability, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or transgender. With this in mind, we understand that to be able to ensure quality services and employment, it is vital that we reflect and provide services that our community can access, fairly, equitably, and that most effectively meets their needs.
To achieve this:
Being able to implement and achieve an effective service that recognises and values diversity and individual needs and offers better inclusion and access, is not just a target of the Trust, it is also covered by Legislation.
The Equality Act 2010 requires the Trust (and the NHS) to comply with General and Specific Duties designed to ensure our commitment to taking measures to improve how we meet the diverse, individual needs of people. Such needs might be in relation to different age, disability, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, transgender, marriage or civil partnership, or in pregnancy or maternity. Under the Duty, these individual categories are known as protected characteristics.
- Having Equality Objectives that have been discussed and agreed with community interests groups
- Collecting Equality Information on the workforce, volunteers, and service users by protected characteristic to inform decisions and objectives.
- (Equality Objectives / Information are in a user friendly format for you to view)
- Procurement and Commissioning – We also pay “due regard” to the protected characteristics when we procure or commission services so that we can identify if any discrimination or inequalities may occur and take steps to address these .
- Equality Analysis (EA)
- Equality and Diversity System 2 (EDS2).The NHS requires us to use this NHS System as a framework to support how we implement our Equality Objectives and Equality Information. This gives us a standard to work to and also measures progress.
Our Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Approach
The Equality Agenda is now less about continual emphasis on legal requirements, compliance and must do’s (which can make activities seem obligatory and “tick box”). Although these still firmly apply, we are focussing more on the values and benefits of these activities which helps with engagement and in understanding, recognition and application this agenda.
The Trust approach focuses on the value and benefits of Diversity, Inclusion, Access and Human rights. We will continue to live and work in an increasingly diverse world and want to be able to engage everyone in our initiatives so that they can be mainstreamed into all that we do.
This approach is about Dignity, Respect and Fair Treatment for all. It goes beyond the protected characteristics of individuals and groups to also consider other aspects such as socio-economic factors, caring commitments and health inequalities.
Our governance structure enables us to manage not only our Equality requirements and accountabilities but also our Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Approach.This includes:
Our Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Committee (EDHR)
Our Committee is jointly chaired by the Director of Organisational Development and a Non-Executive Director and is accountable to the Executive Board. It has broad representatives from Board Members and staff, to patient, community or local support groups.
The committee meets quarterly to strengthen and maintain our approach to diversity, equality, fair treatment, inclusion and access, to promote responsibilities and shared benefits and to mainstream this into employment practice and service delivery. They are also responsible for implementing and /or monitoring our:
- Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Strategy
- Equality Diversity and Human Rights Policy
- Application of the NHS Equality and Diversity System, (EDS2) – (ensuring our action plans support achievement of our objectives and have clear ownership)
- Approach to the NHS Inequalities Agenda.
- Equality and Diversity Reports, Equality Analysis and Equality information
Our equality objectives are based on having:
1. Better Health Outcomes for All – having services designed and procured to meet the diverse health needs of all patients including local communities, promoting well-being, and reducing health inequalities.
2. Improved Patient Access and Experience – improving and enabling Patient access, communication, information, support and care to ensure understanding and ability to make choices around their treatment. Also about measuring how we improve our effectiveness and the access to services.
3. Empowered, Engaged and Well Supported Staff – the provision of support, training, development and performance measures that ensure all our staff are confident and competent to do their work and that services are commissioned and provided appropriately.
4. Inclusive Leadership – This is about our leadership and how we will mainstream equality in the core business of the Trust. Also about we will ensure that there is a clear system in place for conducting an Equality Analysis on services and policy changes”.You can find out more about equality objectives here
NHS Equality and Diversity Competency Framework – We are committed to this NHS framework to recruit, develop and support strategic leaders to advance equality outcomes.
We hope you have found these pages helpful. If you have any comments please contact us via the contact details below:
Please email the Equality Officer
Equality and Diversity
Luton and Dunstable University Hospital