Equality and diversity
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is committed to delivering equality of opportunity for all patients and staff. As part of our general duty to promote equality, we strive to eliminate any unlawful discrimination.
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 identifies 9 protected characteristics and these are set out below and are covered by the Equality Duty:
Marriage and Civil Partnership (but only in respect of eliminating unlawful discrimination)
Pregnancy and Maternity
Race - this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
Religion or belief - this includes lack of belief
The Public Sector Equality Duty
The Equality Act 2010 introduced a general equality duty requiring public organisations, in the exercise of their functions to have due regard to the need to:
Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act
Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and
Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
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; and
Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
The Equality Duty is supported by Specific Duties which require the Trust to publish relevant, proportionate information demonstrating our compliance with the Equality Duty and to help us set specific, measurable equality objectives. The Trust must publish it's equality information by 31 January 2012 and annually thereafter.
The published information must include:
Equality information relating to our workforce who share protected characteristics
Equality information relating to our service users
Information on the effect that our policies and practices have had on employees, service users and others from protected groups
Equality information report February 2013
The Trust's Equality Objectives 2012-2016
In order to help the Trust achieve it's Public Sectory duty in relation to the Equality Act, the Trust has implemented the NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS) which has four goals:
1. Better health outcomes for all
2. Improved patient access and experience
3. Empowered, engaged and included staff
4. Inclusive leadership at all levels
The Trust is working with NHS Cumbria and other NHS organisations in the area to consult with service users, representatives from protected groups and the public and has carried out an assessment against the goals of the EDS. From this assessment, the Trust has identified Equality Objectives to cover all four goals from April 2012.
We have approved an Equality Scheme which covers the key equality strands:
Information on key strands of the scheme can be found below:
Equality Impact Assessments
We ensure that we carry out Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) on our important policies.
Working with Employees and Service Users for Equality
We recognise it is important to work with employees and service users of all backgrounds on equality issues.
Access to services
The Trust has a dedicated section on this website which describes how our services can be accessed and the support that is available. It is within our Patients & Visitors or available here.
The first link below is from the DoH website and is a fact sheet that has been written to explain the role of the NHS to newly-arrived individuals seeking asylum. It is in 41 different languages including English and Polish.
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
NHS North West Health Equality Library Portal
Cumbria County Council - Equality for all in Cumbria