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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.

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  EDS 2022 (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

We hope you have found these pages helpful. If you have any comments please contact us via the contact details below:

By email:
Please email the Equality Officer

By post:
Equality and Diversity
Luton and Dunstable University Hospital
Lewsey Road

Equality Delivery System (EDS) 2022

The NHS EDS 2022 is an accountable improvement tool for NHS Organisations in England. Updated EDS Technical Guidance was published August 2022. This is the third version, commissioned by NHS England and supported by the Equality Diversity Council and is a modified version of EDS2. The EDS comprises eleven outcomes spread across three domains that require ICBs to review and demonstrate their equality response to:

  • Commissioned or provided services
  • Workforce health and well-being
  • Inclusive leadership

Outcomes of the review are evaluated, scored, and rated using available evidence and are designed to provide assurance or point to the need for improvement. As part of the approach to piloting part of EDS 2022, we have recently assessed our position for 2022/23 against domain 2, Workforce, health and well-being.

The Trust will complete its review of all three domains by March 2024.