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Equality and Diversity

Southern Health has a commitment to champion diversity and inclusion and promote equal opportunity in everything we do. We want to enable an organisational culture that values diversity and demonstrates due regards to the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010.

Demonstrating our commitment to inclusivity, we have produced a short video where you can see staff from around the Trust saying what inclusion means to them.

The Equality Act (2010) has brought together and streamlined many strands of previous equality legislation in England, Scotland and Wales. It also introduces the new “public sector equality duty” (PSED), which is made up of the general equality duty which is supported by specific duties. 

The Act extends protection to the nine protected characteristic groups: age, 

The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is set out within the Equality Act 2010 and details 

Aim 1: eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct 

 Aim 2: advance equality of opportunity between people who share protected characteristics 

 Aim 3: foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those 

The Act also explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves:

  • removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics;
  • taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people;
  • encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.

The Equality Delivery System (EDS2) is a national framework developed by NHS England to help NHS organisations improve their equality and diversity performance. The trust has embraced the EDS2 and developed an Equality Standard to integrate this across the organisation.

The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) was launched on 1 April 2015 by NHS England and is included as part of the NHS standard contract. The WRES has been developed to address workforce inequalities relating to (Black and Minority Ethnic) BME staff across the NHS workforce.  It draws on research that provides evidence of a less favourable experience and in some cases, disadvantage. It highlights the important links between the consequences of this and patient care. This is a national issue which the NHS is keen to see addressed. From 1 April 2015, all NHS organisations are required to demonstrate through the nine point Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) metric how they are addressing race equality issues in a range of staffing areas.

How does equality and diversity relate to my care?
The Department of Health has laid out a clear ambition for the NHS which is to be a health service that is responsive to the needs of and accountable to all members of all communities. A service that delivers high quality care for all, that takes appropriate account of individual differences. A service that commits to the ethos of 'everyone counts' and equality is integral to quality. This applies to all healthcare services provided or commissioned by the NHS. It applies to staff as well as patients and we support this ambition.

How does equality and diversity relate to my job?
The Trust is committed to employment practices which aim to make sure that all staff feel valued and are treated with dignity and respect in an inclusive environment which acknowledges difference and celebrates diversity.

  • The Trust continues to strive to improve its quality of care for our patients with the aim of providing a positive patient experience
  • The Trust works to continually improve its employment practices and advance equal opportunities
  • The Trust sees equality and diversity as central to this work and core to our business

Analysis of relevant data and information helps us to continue towards providing healthcare services that are fair to all and ensure an inclusive environment for staff. Furthermore, information gained from involvement events on the diversity agenda and engagement with those who share a protected characteristic, will inform the development of equality objectives for our organisation.

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