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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights

The government's equality strategy 'Building a fairer Britain' is underpinned by the two principles of equal treatment and equal opportunity.

By working towards the elimination of prejudice and discrimination, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust can deliver services that are personal, fair and diverse and a society that is healthier and happier.  This means making the Trust more accountable to the community it serves and tackling discrimination in the work place.

The Trust has a legacy of commitment to equality and diversity that involves and consults with the multi-cultured population it serves and the staff it employs. Our Trust is committed to ensuring that equality and diversity is at the heart of all we do. This means ensuring that equality and fairness is embedded in the delivery of services to our service users and local community. It also means ensuring our employment practices are fair, flexible and enabling so each member of staff can reach their full potential.

Why are equality, diversity and inclusion important to us?

  • We wish to provide a service that is accessible, provide choice and is flexible to the community we serve
  • We wish to recruit and retain the most creative and committed staff to work with us from all community groups so we can better represent the society we serve
  • We have a corporate social responsibility
  • We have moral and legal obligation

We are keen to ensure that our services recognise and deliver culturally sensitive, inclusive, accessible and appropriate services which make a difference to individual lives and to ensure that the services we provide do so without discrimination.  We are committed to ensuring that our approach to our staff is the same as our approach to our service users being open and transparent, focused and based on our values.

What is equality and diversity?

These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, however, the terms ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ are not the same.
Equality is about making sure everyone is treated fairly and given an equitable chance to access opportunities.  It is not about treating everyone the same way as they may have different needs to achieve the same outcomes.

Diversity means ‘difference’.  When it is used in the same context as ‘equality’, it is about recognising and valuing individual as well as group differences.  It also means treating people as individuals and placing positive value on the diversity they bring as a result of them belonging to a certain personal protected characteristic or their cultural background.

As a result of diversity meaning difference, we sometime focus on our differences and put aside what we have in common, a focus on commonality will most likely promote a more inclusive and cohesive workforce.

Our vision for equality and diversity

Using the principles of the EDS2 we will embed equality and diversity to build on the progress we have made, to ensure equality and diversity is in both service provision and employment, to achieve a significant change in our performance on equality, diversity and inclusion, whilst staying true to our vision and values as they are important to us.

Meeting our legal duty

As a public sector organisation, the Trust has a statutory duty to ensure that equality, diversity and human rights are embedded into all its functions and activities as required by the Equality Act 2010, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the NHS Constitution. 

The Equality Act 2010 replaces all previous equality legislation, such as; The Race Relations Act, The Disability Discrimination Act, The Sex/Gender Discrimination Act, Religion and Belief Regulations and Sexual Orientation Regulation.  The Equality Act Places a public sector equality duty on public sector organisations to pay 'due regard' to the personal protected characteristics in their decision making process when developing or reviewing policies, service redesign or restructure and the development of strategies.

The Equality Act is a key part of the legal framework that underpins the way the NHS provides its services and supports its staff. The duty also requires the Trust to collect, analyse and publish its workforce data and service user data equality data information in an accessible format. The Trust is also required to publish its equality objectives and an annual progress report on those objectives. 

The Equality Act and Human Rights Act are also underpinned by the NHS Constitution.

The Equality Act outlaws discrimination against the following protected characteristics:

Equality Act - Protected characteristics

What is the Equality Delivery System (EDS2)?

The EDS2 is a toolkit to support NHS organisations to identify, implement, embed and deliver their equality objectives. This process can drive improvements, strengthen the accountability of services to those providing them, bring about workplaces free from discriminatory practices and reduce health inequalities.

The EDS2 is used to support the Trust to deliver better outcomes for patients and communities and better working environments for staff, which are personal, fair and diverse. The EDS2 is all about making positive differences to healthy living and working lives so that everyone counts.

At the heart of the EDS2 is a set of 18 outcomes grouped into 4 goals. These outcomes focus on the issues of most concern to patients, carers, communities, NHS staff and boards. It is against these outcomes that performance is analysed, graded and action determined.

Click here for the full set of documents relating to the EDS2.

The equality and diversity pages explain how our Trust intends to ensure equality, diversity and human rights in service provision and employment.

These pages will therefore be reviewed and added to on a regular basis. We welcome any suggestions from staff on other information or advice they would like to see added. Please email any suggestions to bruno.daniel@bsmhft.nhs.uk