Diversity and Inclusion

The trust aspires to offering outstanding diversity and inclusion in its role as both an NHS service provider and as an employer.

We are committed to continually improving our services and ensuring that these are safe, personalised, accessible and recovery-focused (SPAR) for all our patients, service users, visitors and carers.

We are also committed to providing excellent employment experiences for those who work within our services. In short, we aim to see that everyone using our services – or working within them – experiences our Proud to CARE values: compassionate, approachable, responsible and excellent. 

We take our responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 very seriously. This means that we continually work to ensure that neither our service users nor our staff are subjected to any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying, including for (but not exclusive to) reasons relating to the ‘protected characteristics’ as set out in the act:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment (and gender identity)
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race (including ethnic or national heritage, colour or nationality)
  • religion or belief
  • sex (gender)
  • sexual orientation

This approach means we take pride in creating better experiences for other groups and individuals who may be disadvantaged through being different in some way.

We are also working to ensure that all individuals’ human rights are protected and that vulnerable and disadvantaged people are safe from abuse and that they can access care and support tailored to their needs. As citizens, employees, parents, carers and service users, we are all stakeholders in the NHS. We each have a duty to make sure that healthcare outcomes are of the highest standard.

The trust will not tolerate any form of racist, cultural, religious, sexist, misogynistic, ableist, biphobic/ homophobic/ transphobic discrimination, bullying or harassment in any of our services, whether from service users and patients, members of the public, or those working on behalf of the trust. Action will always be taken where this occurs. To report an incident of discrimination, bullying or harassment, see below for details. 

The trust is committed to working positively to develop a culture of diversity and inclusion, across our trust through our partnerships and within our communities. This will include eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation; promoting diversity and inclusion, and nurturing better relationships between people of different characteristics. We further commit to going beyond the basic requirements of the Equality Act to develop policies and practices that actively challenge and address inequality and inequity at every level. 

Each year, we will publish how our activities as a service provider and employer affect people with different protected characteristics, and we will review, set and publish our equality objectives at least every four years.

If you need more information in relation to any aspect of our approach to diversity and inclusion, please email diversity@combined.nhs.uk.

Trust diversity and inclusion strategy

In writing this strategy for Combined NHS, we aim to create an environment that engages the full potential of the individual, where innovation thrives and where views, beliefs and values are respected, supported and valued.

Being inclusive and fostering a sense of belonging recognises everyone as individuals, all with a diverse range of characteristics. Some of these include the Equality Act (2010) ‘9 protected characteristics’, but also much more than this a wide range of characteristics.

It is recognised that some characteristics and identities may bring privilege (or potential advantage) while others may have become ‘minoritised’ by society and therefore may bring potential disadvantage or challenges. It is noted that some characteristics are visible and others invisible.

The trust has set out its approach to developing and embedding a culture of both diversity and inclusion over the next four years, including its overview action plan, in our diversity and inclusion strategy.

Action and progress to deliver on our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is captured through our latest Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report and our trust diversity and inclusion data.

Monitoring diversity and inclusion at the trust

All NHS trusts are required, under the Equality Act 2010, to publish annually how our activities as a service provider and employer affect people with different ‘protected’ characteristics.

We are also required to set, review and publish Equality Objectives at least every four years. At Combined Healthcare, we do this within our Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report.

Our latest report in compliance with the Equality Act 2010 can be accessed via the links below (both documents should be read together):

Equality Delivery System (EDS2)

EDS 2023 coming soon…

Reporting incidents of discrimination, bullying or harassment

It is important that all incidents of discrimination, bullying or harassment are appropriately reported to enable such issues to be adequately addressed and satisfactorily resolved, and to allow important organisational learning and improvement to take place. 

Service users and the members of the public:

To report an abuse incident from a service user, member of the public or staff member:

  • Report incident to a member of staff in the relevant department or a trust senior manager or via the trust complaints process.

Trust staff:

To report discrimination, bullying or harassment from a member of the workforce:

  • Contact your line manager, a member of the HR Team, Trade Union representative, Freedom to Speak Up Guardian or Champion or Staff Network Lead.
  • Alternatively, complete the reporting form for incidents of bullying and/or harassment (found in the Bullying and Harassment at Work policy) and return it to one of the above individuals.

To report discrimination, bullying or harassment from a patient /service user or member of the public:

  • Report the incident to your line manager/person in charge, a trust senior manager or via the Ulysses incident reporting system.