The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (Royal Free) has a longstanding commitment to ensuring that our services and employment practices are fair, accessible and appropriate for all patients, visitors and carers we serve, as well as the talented and diverse workforce we employ.
We recognise that the population we serve and our workforce is extremely diverse and is becoming even more so. For this reason, we have a moral and ethical, as well as a legal duty, to treat everyone fairly and without discrimination.
Our aim is to deliver personalised services, recognising differences to meet the needs of the diverse patients and communities we serve.
Under the Equality Act 2010, public bodies, including NHS organisations are required to give due regard to the need to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it
- foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it
This is referred to as the general equality duty.
The general equality duty covers the following protected characteristics:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage and Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Race- this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
The general equality duty is supported by specific duties to help performance on equality issues.
The specific duties require NHS organisations to:
- 1. to publish information demonstrating our compliance with the general equality duty by 31 January 2013
- 2. to set and publish one ore more equality objectives to meet the requirements of the general equality duty by 6 April 2012 and then at least every four years
We have produced a comprehensive equality information report setting out what we are doing to become an even better employer and how we are improving the way frontline health services deliver good health outcomes for the protected groups who experience the greatest inequalities.
In 2011, the Royal Free formally adopted the Department of Health's national Equality Delivery System (EDS) which is designed to support NHS organisations to prepare and publish equality objectives in consultation with staff, service users and local groups.
During February 2012, the Royal Free undertook two grading events with service users and members of the joint staff side committee to grade our performance against the 18 Equality Delivery System (EDS) outcomes. This has helped us decide on the areas where most effort is needed to promote equality for patients, carers and staff.
The results of the grading outcomes are set out in the following report
We have set 5 equality objectives which focus on the biggest equality challenges facing the trust.
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Equality impact assessments
The purpose of our equality impact assessment process is to assess the impact of existing or proposed policies, functions, services and programmes and their effects on different groups of people. It ensures that we do not indirectly discriminate against any particular group(s) by anticipating the potential consequences and making sure that, as far as possible, any negative consequences are eliminated or minimised. Crucially, it helps us to identify where we can best promote equality of opportunity. The equality impact assessment process is made up of two stages.
1) A high level screening to establish whether a service or policy has a low, medium or high impact in terms of equality.
2) A detailed assessment for services and policies judged to have high impact at the screening stage.
Partnerships with seldom heard communities
The Royal free is committed to working in partnership with patients and communities who experience health inequalities to help reduce inequalities, and promote environments that are fair and free of discrimination.
A few of our many successful projects:
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For more information about the Equality Act 2010 see: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/equalities/equality-act/
For more information about the EDS see: http://www.eastmidlands.nhs.uk/about-us/inclusion/eds/