As a public body and provider of healthcare services, we have a number of legal duties related to equality and diversity issues based on the Public Sector Equality Duty, 2011. Public bodies subject to the specific duties must publish information to show their compliance. This means that the information they publish must show that they had due regard to the need to:
• eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act;
• advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and
• foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
The protected characteristics covered by the Equality Duty are:
- gender reassignment
- 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
- sexual orientation
Equality and Diversity Strategy
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust was formed on the 1 April 2011 merging acute provider services from Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust with community services from NHS Walsall Community Health. This has provided an ideal opportunity to develop an integrated and comprehensive Equality Strategy, reaffirming previous commitments, whilst enabling the development of an approach that works towards the achievement of equality for all and values the diversity of everyone.
An integrated strategy supports our responsibilities and strengthens our commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Walsall using a wide range of inputs from groups and individuals building on previous consultation with patients, staff and community groups. This will be a living document that will change and evolve over the next few years in line with the Equality Delivery System goals and outcomes.
This strategy sets out our commitment to promoting equality and human rights and valuing diversity in all areas of healthcare in Walsall. The development of this strategy will enable us to re-focus our objectives that will embed equality at the core of our work and re-evaluate the actions required to do this. This has been developed in line with changes to legislation and will provide a reflection of what is required to bring equality principles into the 21st century.
We are already working hard to ensure that the services we provide are free from barriers and discrimination and as an organisation we will continue to ensure that not only do we meet our legal duties but place equality values at the foundation of everything we do for patients and staff.
The strategy sets out our equality priorities for the next three years and provides an operating framework for implementing our Equality Strategy both for staff and those who use our services.
All individuals and population groups should have equal opportunity to benefit from health policies. Inequalities in health between different ethnic groups and between men and women are well documented and long-standing but we must look further than this and the Equality Act 2010 has made provisions for equality duties based on nine protected characteristics.
We cannot simply assume that health policy will be equally beneficial for everyone and a professional approach to policy-making means testing our assumptions. The Equality Act 2010 requires all public authorities to undertake an Equality Analysis (EAs) on their policies and proposals. Walsall Healthcare is committed to the assessment of its activities to ensure that no one group is discriminated against and by assessing the potential effects of a policy on particular populations in a rigorous way, we can increase the probability that a policy will promote equality of access and equity of outcomes.
If policies are assessed for their impact on different sections of the population from the outset, we are better placed to meet our legal obligations. More importantly, we are more likely to produce better policy that will benefit everyone in the population. Completion of Equality Analysis forms part of the approval process for all corporate policies in the Trust.
If you would like to request a copy of an Equality Analysis please email: firstname.lastname@example.org