The Trust aims to be an organisation that people want to access for high quality care and treatment. The Trust aims to be an organisation that people want to join and remain with as staff because it allows them to make their distinctive contributions and achieve their full potential. The Trust does not tolerate any form of intimidation, humiliation, harassment, bullying or abuse and will ensure that patients, staff, visitors, and the public are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. Our aim is to break down all barriers of discrimination, prejudice, fear, or misunderstanding, which can damage service effectiveness for service users and carers. The Trust is committed to compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty as set out in the Equality Act 2010. The Trust will do this by eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment, and victimisation, have due regard to advancing equality of opportunity and foster good relations, for the relevant protected characteristics:
• Gender re-assignment
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Religion and belief
• Sex / Gender
• Sexual Orientation.
The Trust aims to ensure that its services and employment opportunities are equally accessible to other groups that are ‘seldom heard’. These other groups could include the long term unemployed, sex workers, homeless groups; substance misusers; migrant workers; asylum seekers/ refugees; but this list is not exhaustive. The Trust is committed to building a workforce which is valued and whose diversity reflects the community it serves, enabling it to deliver the best possible healthcare service to those communities. By addressing any inequalities in employment practices, the Trust seeks to deliver equitable services to all. The Trust believes that unlawful discrimination is unacceptable and aims to ensure that all patients, applicants, employees, contractors, agency staff and visitors will receive appropriate treatment and will not be disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justified. This is particularly so on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and trade union activity. To support this we have a dedicated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead whose remit includes providing strategic and operational advice and guidance to the Trust’s Management Team, its staff and other key stakeholders on all matters around equality, diversity and inclusion linked to patient care and workforce. The Equality and Diversity Strategy is in place and includes a number of Equality Objectives. These Equality Objectives are giving direction and supporting the organisation to move forward against the equality and diversity agenda.
The Equality Objective’s Progress
Reporting and Governance
The Equality and Diversity Strategy provides an orderly structure to enable the delivery of our legal and contractual Public Sector Equality Duties and our social responsibilities. Our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion action plan for 2022 is in place and reflects our Equality Objectives which are embedded in the above strategy.
Excellent relationships have been formed between our commissioners and the new integrated care systems, Humber and North Yorkshire, and our ICS colleagues. The Trust published its annual Anti-Slavery Statement which was approved at the Trust Board in April 2022. To ensure our staff are aware of key equality, diversity, and inclusion events the Trust has organised a number of engagement events each month. These events give our staff an opportunity to meet the Trust EDI lead and ask questions. Each month different equality thymes are explored.
Implement the NHS Equality Delivery System 2 (EDS) within NLaG
Progress against the EDS 2 framework halted due to the impact of COVID-19 but evidence gathering has now commenced and a framework is now in place. The data collection phase has commenced and will conclude by the end of May / early June 2022, the performance will be analysed and graded in July 2022 in preparation to inform the new Trust equality objectives which are due to be published in October 2022. Our attention to address inequalities has been ever present.
• Due to the adverse impact of COVID-19 on certain communities we have worked in partnership with our staff, health and safety, and infection control to develop a risk assessment tool which considered age, gender, long term conditions, ethnicity and pregnancy. This tool has gained national recognition and has been put forward for a HSJ award
• We have worked with our Health Record team and engaged with the Transgender community to update and revise their Transgender Standard
• We attended a local Transgender engagement event to share, learn and care with this often marginalised community
• We have just been accepted to take part in an NHS EI disability programme which will help us develop staff who have a disability into leadership roles.
To enable an improved understanding of the diverse communities we serve in the North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire areas a snapshot review of Public Health data has been undertaken for these areas.
Preparatory work has taken place to ensure going forward we use this data working in partnership with our commissioners, using the new EDS2 model to identify potential health inequalities and using a whole systems approach to identify ways to address them. We are also engaging with the Health Tree Foundation’s Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Wellbeing Coordinator who supports our staff and local communities.
Treating patients, carers and colleagues with dignity and respect
All staff are required to complete Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion training as part of their statutory and mandatory training. Face-to-face Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training changed due to COVID-19 restrictions although online access to advice/support is available via the Trust’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Lead.
Report and deliver against workforce data
The Workforce Race Equality Standard data was collected, analysed and an action plan for improvement developed. A report to reflect this information was approved by the Trust Board, and to meet our contractual requirements this information was published and shared with NHS England. The Workforce Disability Equality Standard data was collected, analysed and an action plan for improvement developed.
A report to reflect this information was approved by the Trust Board, and to meet our contractual requirements this information was published and shared with NHS England. The Gender Pay Gap data was collected, analysed and a report presented to Trust Board. To comply with our legal duty under the Equality Act 2010 – Specific Duties and Public Authorities – Regulations 2017. This information was then published on the Government website and shared with our commissioners.
Develop and grow staff equality support networks
Due to the recognition that staff who belong to minority / seldom heard groups are more likely to experience poorer experiences at work, links have been established with HR colleagues and the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.
We have, although in their infancy, three staff equality support networks. These are the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff network, the Lesbian, Gay Bi-Sexual and Transgender + (LGBTQ+) staff network and the Disabled staff network.
A number of exploratory meetings have taken place for all of these networks and draft terms of reference for the groups have been developed. Chairs and Deputies are in the process of being appointed and this will be complete by early June 2022.
A number of sharing events took place recently with staff network members, to explain how the new approach to Culture and Engagement, and how the staff networks can influence organisational change, will unfold into 2022.
However, we have through engagement identified that staff have lots of time constraints and whilst they see the benefits of staff networks many of them prefer to engage through social media outlets. Therefore, we have a number of Facebook
Staff Equality Network groups
Facebook Staff Equality Networks Membership at May 2022:
• BAME Staff Network 72 members
• Disability Staff Network 33 members
• LGBTQ+ Staff Network 42 members.
In addition, we recognise that a high percentage of our staff are female, and of a higher age group. Therefore, and again through consulting with our staff we identified their needs and have established a virtual Menopause Staff Equality Network which has more than 200 members. This is well supported by our Health and Wellbeing team.
We are also responsive to equality events and special days for our staff and patients.
• To celebrate International Women’s day on the 8 March 2022 we held a half day celebration event
• To recognise Ramadan 2022 we published guidance documents for our managers and staff.
Further proposed actions
Looking ahead the Equality and Diversity Strategy and the Equality Objectives will continue to provide the organisational direction to move this challenging agenda forward.
Some key areas of focus will be to:
• Refresh the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Equality Objectives
* To include extensive internal and external engagement /consultation using EDS2 methodology during 2022
• Align the new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Equality Objective to the NHS People Plan and Model Employer
• Refresh the Trust’s Equality Impact Assessment procedure
• Refine community data to gain an improved understanding of health inequalities that our communities experience
• Report against the current and emerging workforce equality standards and identify actions for improvement
• Continue to grow and develop our staff equality networks, and ensure that they are actively contributing to the transformational programme of work planned to continue to improve our staff engagement and culture.