The Trust's Diversity and Inclusion Statement

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 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 and/or bullying, including for (but not exclusive to) reasons relating to the ‘protected characteristics’ as set out in the Act, i.e.:

  • 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 and/or transphobic discrimination, bullying and 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 Trust approach to Diversity and Inclusion, please email: Diversity@Combined.nhs.uk or telephone 0300 123 1535 ext. 2814.

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 workers:

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.

Trust Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019–23

The importance of having a culture of diversity and inclusion within businesses of all kinds is increasingly recognised in terms of its human and bottom line impact. A wide range of benefits have been identified for both service users and staff arising from developing a strong culture of both diversity and inclusion.

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. This document is based on the findings and conclusions drawn from a range of information about our workforce, our service users and our local population and communities, as set out in the documents below. 

This strategy not only enables us to meet our legal and NHS contractual requirements in relation to equality, but also helps us to deliver on the significant moral, staff engagement and patient-centred imperative for developing a more inclusive organisation in which all people are valued and treated as individuals – thereby delivering our Proud to CARE Trust values (compassionate, approachable, responsible, excellent) and our SPAR quality priorities (safe, personalised, accessible, recovery focused).

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.

proud to care

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.

It has been another really busy and challenging year for the development of diversity and inclusion throughout the Trust. We have continued to work very hard to really raise the profile and awareness about inclusion issues and to embed a culture of diversity and inclusion within all our services. Whilst there is much still to do, we have made very significant progress and have been recognised nationally for this, as Winner of the Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) Award for Leading in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 2021. Our journey towards outstanding inclusion continues..

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

Additionally, NHS Trusts are required to complete and publish an annual assessment against:

Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)

Equality Delivery System (EDS2)

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Trusts have been given additional time to produce and share the EDS.  We will be publishing the 2021 EDS by end March 2022.

Embracing Equality, Diversity and Human Rights

We are committed to ensuring that our services and employment practices are fair, accessible, responsive and appropriate for all patients, visitors and carers in the community we serve, as well as the talented and diverse workforce that we employ.

To achieve this we are we are working on eliminating all forms of discrimination on the grounds of people’s race, disability, gender, age, religion and belief and sexual orientation. We are also working to ensure that all individual’s human rights are protected and that vulnerable people are safe from abuse.

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