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.
The general equality duty is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. Public organisations including NHS Trusts are subject to the general duty and must have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate unlawful; discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- 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 public sector equality duty; it was created by the Equality Act 2010 and replaces the race, disability and gender equality duties. The duty came into force in April 2011 and covers age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage, same-sex marriage and civil partnership, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation. It applies in England, Scotland and Wales.
The specific duties help public bodies to deliver the public sector equality duty, by requiring public bodies to be transparent about how they are responding to the Equality Duty – requiring them to:
- publish relevant, proportionate information showing compliance with the Equality Duty
- publish information about decision-making and the equality data which underpins those decisions
- be accountable to their service users - will open public bodies up to informed public scrutiny
- give the public the information they need to hold public bodies to account for their performance on equality
How can this be achieved?
The three processes supporting the equality agenda are:
- Equality Analysis - we are required to analyse the effect of any policy, practice, function, business case, project or service change. This is what is known as an ‘Equality Analysis’ or what used to be referred to as ‘Equality Impact Assessment’. The Equality Act 2010 removed the requirement to follow a prescriptive ‘Equality Impact Assessment’, but not the requirement to demonstrate equality compliance. Nationally the NHS has promoted the development of appropriate local Equality Analysis tools, which are both transparent and simple to use. For more information please read the Equality Analysis Guidance and Template.
- Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) – Collection, collation and analysis of equality data, functions and information. Annual PSED Report 31st January annually, publication of data on website.
- Equality Delivery System (EDS) – public engagement and involvement process leading to the setting and implementation of equality objectives over a four-year period published 6th April annually.