Meeting our legal duties

The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. The Act makes it unlawful to directly or indirectly discriminate, based on one or more of the nine protected characteristics.

To ensure the public sector organisations are accountable for their performance on equality and transparent in their practices the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) was introduced in the Equality Act.

The Human Rights Act asserts the right to liberty and security; respect for private and family life; freedom of expression; and freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The Act protects the right to enjoy these freedoms without discrimination. At the core of the Human Rights and healthcare delivery are the principles of FREDA.

  • Fairness
  • Respect
  • Equality
  • Dignity
  • Autonomy

National Standards set out priorities for quality improvements in health and social care by executive non-departmental public bodies such as NHS England, examples include:

The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) measures ‘race equality’ within the workforce. The standard provides the opportunity for us to identify trends and themes and recognise potential inequalities related to race and track what progress we are making to identify and develop Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff in our workplace.

The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) aims to tackle the inequality & discrimination sometimes faced by people with a disability within the NHS workforce, to promote equality and to help us maximise the potential of all our employees.

The Gender Pay Gap Reporting aims to identify the pay gap between men and women and employers with 250 or more employees must publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap.

The Accessible Information Standard (AIS) details an expectation on us to communicate with or provide information to patients, service users and carers with a disability, impairment or sensory loss and do so in a way that is relevant to their needs.

People from protected characteristic groups can experience a combination of exclusion, alienation, bullying and harassment, isolation and may also have problems accessing public services. There is mounting evidence that stigma, prejudice, and discrimination create a hostile and stressful social environment that can lead or contribute to mental health problems. Health inequalities are avoidable as well as unjust, unfair and unlawful.

The Equality Act 2010 requires all public sector organisations, including Walsall Healthcare Trust to publish equality objectives every four years. The Trust has to publish details of engagement work that has taken place to develop and evidence the Trust’s Equality objectives, the objectives continued within this document will be subject to ongoing consultation and engagement and will be refreshed each year.