Equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights

Equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights

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1 July 2022


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Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board (ICB) is committed to embedding the key principles of equality, inclusion and human rights at the core of our day to day business and decision making.

The ICB is committed to commissioning inclusive services and understand that these services should reflect the needs of the diverse communities we serve.

This will require participation and feedback from a range of stakeholders including; patients, the public, staff, service providers, voluntary and community support groups and greater collaboration between the ICB and its key partners.

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The Equality Act 2010 is the primary piece of legislation relating to equality, diversity and inclusion. It brings together several existing equality laws into one place so that it is easier to use. It sets out the personal characteristics that are protected by the law and the behaviour that is unlawful.

Consideration is also given to communities or seldom heard groups who don’t always access NHS services. This could include homeless people, asylum seekers or communities within areas of deprivation.

Health inequalities don’t always reside in areas of deprivation for example rural areas, where isolation can be linked to mental illness.


The 2010 Equality Act, Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is set out in section 149 of the Act. In summary, those who are subject to the PSED must give due consideration to its 3 key aims:

1. Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
2. Advance equality of opportunity between different groups
3. Foster good relations between different groups

The Equality Acts (PSED)contains specific duties. Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent CCGs are organisations that are subject to these duties and must:

  • publish at least every 4 years its equality objectives
  • at least annually report on how the organisation is meeting its PSED and its equality objectives.

Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to. It incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic British law. The Human Rights Act came into force in the UK in October 2000.
You can click here to find out more information on the Human Rights Act.

Health and Care Act 2022

The Health and Care Act 2022 was enacted on 28 April 2022. It builds on the proposals for legislative change set out by NHS England in its Long Term Plan, whilst also incorporating valuable lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic to benefit both staff and patients.

It marks an important step in the health and care agenda, setting up systems and structures to reform how health and adult social care work together, tackle long waiting lists built up during the pandemic, and address some of the long-term challenges faced by the country including a growing and ageing population, chronic conditions, and inequalities in health outcomes.

Our equality work programme

Our ambition in the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICS is to deliver excellent care to our patients and citizens but in doing so also for our colleagues.

We know to that to deliver in this challenging landscape, we need to create an architecture that allows us all to bring our best selves to work, in an environment that feels inclusive and creates a sense of belonging, as articulated in the national NHS People Plan, but also what we know is validated through evidence in that the benefits a highly engaged and inclusive workforce can bring to an organisation.

This is where our journey started, many years ago, through setting what seemed at the time stretch ambitions to embark on a programme of cultural transformation. To embed inclusivity in the many, many interactions we have with our colleagues and create a psychologically safe and supportive environment that will act as an enabler to delivering our strategic objectives through sustainability in our capacity.

We began this journey through setting ourselves three enablers to success – leadership,  health and wellbeing and inclusion.

We knew to truly leverage these enablers of change we would need to equality and diversity to be a golden thread. Providing opportunities to ensure our workforce represents the community we serve, noting that this has not only corporate social responsibility and how we operate as an Anchor organisation in the system to improve social outcomes for our citizens, but also the diversity of difference to our decision making and action. 

The evidence suggests our leadership teams are not diverse to represent our communities, and we don’t need to read the research to know this – we can see it.

We are seeing the change, and we are making the change – our actions, our team, our commitment is making an impact and we are inspiring individuals to not only join us in our ambitions, but to be the change in the system.

Inclusion

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity is embedded throughout our programme and to ensure we elevate the opportunities for our workforce to represent the community it serves and tackle barriers that some of our colleagues may experience.  Priorities include:

  1. New Futures – bespoke leadership programme supporting colleagues from an ethnic minority to progress in their career ambitions.
  2. Inclusion school – seasonal discussions with inspirational speakers to challenge ourselves and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  3. Staff networks – to promote inclusivity and encourage voice throughout our decision making.
  4. Developing Aspirant Leaders Programme – a leadership programme supporting our nursing and midwifery colleagues from an ethnic minority.

For more information on the priorities and programmes please contact lesely.faux@combined.nhs.uk or Balwinder.kaur@mpft.nhs.uk