Equality & diversity

Do you ask the question?

This new, short video was led by Shropshire CCG and is a joint initiative between the local NHS including the Community Health Trust and the local authority. Take a look and discuss its content with your colleagues, family and friends. Do you ask the question?

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust believes in fairness, equity and above all values diversity in all aspects of its work, as a provider of health services and as an employer of people.

We are committed to eliminating discrimination on the basis of gender, age, disability, race, religion, sexuality or social class. We aim to provide accessible services, delivered in a way that respects the needs of each individual and does not exclude anyone.

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust also aims to ensure that it employs and develops a healthcare workforce that is diverse, non discriminatory and appropriate to deliver modern healthcare.

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust intends to embed its equality and diversity values into every day practice, policies and procedures so that equality and diversity becomes the norm for all.

Equality is not about treating everyone the same, it is about ensuring that access to opportunities are available to all by taking account of people’ s differing needs and capabilities.

Diversity is about recognising and valuing differences through inclusion, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial origin, religion, belief, sexual orientation or language.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 came into force in October 2010 and replaced a range of previous anti-discriminatory laws with a single act. The Act identified nine protected characteristics and these are set out below and are covered by the Equality Duty:

  • Age (including specific ages and age groups)
  • Disability (including cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, and physical or mental impairment where the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to carry out day to day activities)
  • Gender re-assignment (where people are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership (but only in respect of eliminating unlawful discrimination)
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race (including ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
  • Religion or Belief (including a lack of religion or belief, and where belief includes any religious or philosophical belief)
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation (meaning a person’s sexual orientation towards persons of the same sex, persons of the opposite sex and persons of either sex

The Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality Duty can be found in section 149 of the Act and came into force on the 5th April 2011. The Equality Duty applies to Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust and any organisations it has contracts with who carry out public functions on behalf of the Trust e.g. GPs and Dentists.

The Duty has the following three aims:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited under the Act
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it, and
  • Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it

The Equality Duty is supported by specific duties which came into force on 10th September 2011. The specific duties require the Trust to publish relevant, proportionate information demonstrating our compliance with the Equality Duty; and to set specific, measurable equality objectives.

The information published must include:

  • Equality information relating to our workforce who share protected characteristics
  • Equality information relating to people who are affected by the Trust’s policies and practices who share protected characteristics (for example, service users)

The Duty requires the Trust to publish information to show our compliance with the Equality Duty at least annually and set and publish equality objectives at least every four years.

The Equality Act outlaws direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation of people with relevant protected characteristics in relevant circumstances. It requires reasonable adjustments be made for disabled people. The Act applies to providers of services and employers, including NHS bodies and other health providers.