Equality, Diversity and Human Rights
The Equality, Diversity and Human Rights team provides support to the Trust to meet its Public Sector Equality Duty and facilities the Trust in meeting the needs of the diverse community it serves.
The Equality and Inclusion team facilitates the awareness and understanding of equality, diversity, inclusivity and human rights amongst management and staff; supports the engagement and involvement in equality impact assessments; runs engagement events to actively seek views and comments from staff and the general public on equality issues including the assessment of the Trust’s performance.
We also provide a range of training courses for staff in relation to equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights issues (which can be accessed via classroom taught sessions, e-learning or poster presentations), equality impact assessments, cultural competence, disability confident, accessible communication and information and how to tackle bullying and harassment in the workplace.
Listening to the views of our service users, relatives and carers is extremely important to us. Your experiences about accessing the services we provide help us to ensure that our Truly Inclusive Organisation Action Plan is a living, breathing document that truly reflects the needs of our service users.
The Trust has an active Equality & Inclusion Council and Equality & Inclusion Programme Board which exists to make sure we achieve our current equality and human rights objectives, oversee Trust wide equality, diversity and inclusion activity including reviewing action plans, strategy development and meeting NHS England Standards such as Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES), Accessible Information Standard (AIS), Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES), Equality Delivery System Grading (EDS2).
What is Equality, Diversity and Human Rights
What is Equality, Diversity and Human Rights?
Equality equates to fairness: where people are always being subject to appropriate, justifiable and non-discriminatory lived experiences. This especially applies to:
- Users of a service,
- Members of a workforce,
- Members a community,
- Members of a population,
- ...and citizens of a country or individual members of humanity.
It is a standard where people routinely subject each other to:
- Fair opportunities: non-discriminatory life chances
- Fair treatment: non-discriminatory behaviour, environments, practices and decisions, and
- Fair outcomes: the results of responses to known or expressed needs, merits, demands, wants, wishes, choices etc. are non- discriminatory and do not lead to disadvantage or inequality.
Diversity equates to personalisation: where people are valued and supported consistent with their individual distinctiveness and uniqueness so their needs can be met and their contributions effectively harnessed.
This again applies to: users of a service, members of a workforce, members a community, members of a population, and citizens of a country or individual members of humanity.
It is a standard where people treat each other in ways that ensures mutual:
- Recognition of each other’s diversity where actions are based on finding out and understanding diversity
- Respect of each other’s diversity where actions are non- judgemental and value each other’s diversity, and
- Responses to each other’s diversity ensure actions are appropriate and relevant to an individual’s uniqueness and distinctiveness.
Human rights equates to standards: were people are treated humanely, and where everyone, at all times and places, routinely receive the basic entitlements that they are due simply because they are human.
It is a standard where people routinely enjoy:
- Freedoms to pursue certain things e.g. whatever one wishes to believe.
- Freedoms from certain things e.g. not to be tortured.
- Freedoms from arbitrary interference from state or public authorities e.g. have ones liberty / freedom of movement restricted without good reason and due process.
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 requires that we undertake outcome focused activity in addressing equality and diversity issues as a service provider and employer, across nine protected characteristics.
The Act contains nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat someone unfairly:
- Gender reassignment (whether or not someone is trans)
- Marriage or civil partnership (including same-gender marriage)
- Pregnancy and maternity/paternity
- Race or ethnicity
- Religion or belief
- Sex or gender
- Sexual orientation
We have a general duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it.
As a public sector organisation, we also have specific duty to prepare and publish specific and measurable equality objectives every four years.
The Act contains a general duty which requires us to have due regard to:
- Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- Advancing equality of opportunity
- Fostering good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it.
The Act also contains specific duties which are to:
- Prepare and publish equality objectives at least every four years after that
- Ensure that the objectives are specific and measurable, and set out how progress towards the objectives will be measured
- Publish details of engagement in developing the equality objectives also at least every four years, and in line with publication of objectives
- Consider its published equality information before preparing and publishing these objectives
- Publish the objectives in a reasonably accessible format either as an individual document or as part of another report.
Our commitment to equality and diversity
The Trust commits to:
- Promote equality, fairness and respect for all in our employment, whether temporary, part-time or full-time, as well as for volunteers and potential job applicants.
- Oppose and avoid all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes in pay and benefits, terms and conditions of employment, dealing with grievances and discipline, dismissal, redundancy, leave for parents, requests for flexible working, and selection for employment, promotion, training or other development opportunities.
- Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all colleagues are recognised and valued.
- Make opportunities for training, development and progress available to all colleagues, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the Trust's decisions concerning colleagues being based on merit (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act).
The vision of Birmingham Community Healthcare is to develop into a Truly Inclusive Organisation and that ambition will be realised when our Birmingham Community Healthcare People tell us that the Trust is a Great Place to Work.
- A commitment to being a Truly Inclusive Organisation
- Achievements in 2020/21
- A commitment to listen and act
The priority actions for 2021 / 2022 are summarised as follows:
- Delivery of Key Performances Indicators
- Actively supporting Equality Staff Networks and engagement
- Embedding Equality Diversity & Inclusion within Divisional priorities and objectives
- Embedding Inclusive Leadership
- Recognising and Realising Potential
- Developing Data and Performance Management
- Equality in Recruitment and Promotion Practices
- Inclusive Engagement
- Disability Equality
- Zero Tolerance
- Fairness and Equality in Employment Processes
- System Engagement
These are some of the actions we will be taking forward to improve the experiences of colleagues with a disability/ long term condition:
- Key findings from the Workforce Disability Equality Standard report, to inform actions to be implemented to steer improvements.
- End to End quality improvement review of access to reasonable adjustments for colleagues living with a disability/long term condition.
- Refresh and amend the Accessible Information Standard Policy.
- Support the Disability & Neurodiversity Network to raise its profile and increase membership.
- Improve disability declaration rates on Electronic Staff Record and build a more accurate picture of the diversity of our workforce.
- To create and implement a Disability Passport (Workplace adjustment passport) initiative across the trust.
The WDES Report is on page 20 of page of the Truly Inclusive Organisation Plan. The WRES Report is on page 14 of the Truly Inclusive Organisation Plan.
There are a number of ongoing priorities identified within the 2020/21 Truly Inclusive Organisation Plan which have been migrated into the 2021/22 plan.
The Truly Inclusive Organisation Action Plan incorporates the findings and responses from the following:
- WRES 2020/21 Report
- WDES 2020/21 Report
- Annual Workforce Equality Report 2021
- Disparity Report
- EDS2 2021
- Model Employer Report
- Regional and National Strategies
To view the Truly Inclusive Organisation Plan please refer to page 26 -33 of the Truly Inclusive Organisation Action Plan.
The Trust routinely collects equality data on patients and staff members and uses this information to ensure that its services and employment opportunities are fair and accessible to all.
To help organisations access and improve their performance in service design and delivery, under the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector General Equality Duty, organisations must publish sufficient information to demonstrate that, in the exercise of its functions, it has a due regard to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and to
- Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not.
In order to achieve the aims of the general equality duty described above, the Trust must demonstrate that it has a good understanding of the impact that policies, services and practice have on people with different protected characteristics*.
An important way for the organisation to achieve this is through the collection and analysis of equality information, including information on engagement with people from protected characteristics where relevant.
Therefore, equality data reports have been created, as follows:
This report covers all of the protected characteristics:
- Ethnicity (race)
- Gender reassignment
- Religion and belief
- Sexual orientation
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Marriage and civil partnerships.
If you would like more information regarding the Annual Workforce Equality Data Report, please contact the Equality and Inclusion Team.
Accessible Information Standard
As part of the standard the Trust MUST do five things:
- Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs.
- Record those needs in a set way on patient records.
- Highlight a person’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how these should be met.
- Share information about a person’s needs with other Trust Teams/Departments, NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so.
- Act to make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it.
A patient’s experience of our services must be positive to encourage the patient to continue to use the service. To support this Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is implementing the Accessible Information Standard which aims to make sure that disabled people who are our patients, service users and their carers and parents have access to information that they can understand and any communication support they need. This includes making sure that people get information in different formats if they need it, such as large print, Braille, embossed, easy read, via email and visual/British Sign Language (BSL) etc.
- Trust Patient Information Policy and Accessible Information Standard Policy
- Patient Information Policy
- Accessible Information Standard Policy
- Further information: NHS England Accessible Information Standard
A short update about the approval is also available in the following formats:
- Accessible Information Standard update July 2015 - Easy Read (Insert copy)
- Accessible Information Standard update July 2015 - Word document (Insert copy)
- Accessible Information Standard Update - July 2015 (pdf version)
- Accessible Information Standard update July 2015 (BSL video and subtitles)
- Accessible Information Standard update July 2015 (audio version)
Equality Delivery System 2022
The Equality Delivery System (EDS) is a system that helps NHS organisations improve the services they provide for their local communities and provide better working environments, free of discrimination, for those who work in the NHS, while meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. The EDS was developed by the NHS, for the NHS, taking inspiration from existing work and good practice.
Modern Slavery Statement
Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and applies to Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC).
Modern Slavery and human trafficking is a criminal activity which can occur in all sectors of society, including health and social care. The impact of such activities can often be felt by vulnerable individuals who suffer from poor mental and physical health as a result, often in circumstances which might be hard to reach by frontline agencies. As a large provider of healthcare services delivered in a community setting, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (“BCHC”) recognises that it has a central role to play in upholding the principles of the Human Rights Act 1998, specifically we are commitment to the right that people have to be free from slavery or forced labour under Article 4.
We do this by ensuring we have systems in place to identify and support the victims of modern slavery and human trafficking as well as ensuring our business activities are free from legal and ethical labour standard abuses.
Our organisational structure
The Trust is one of the largest providers of community healthcare services in the country and provides universal and specialist healthcare services for patients in the city of Birmingham and across the wider West Midlands area – covering a population in excess of 1.1 million. We are an NHS organisation with over 5,000 employees and an annual turnover of £365.7 million. Further details about what we do can be found on our website at www.bhamcommunity.nhs.uk
Our supply chains
The Trust supports and respects the protection of human rights for all its employees and workers within its supply chain. We are committed to treating individuals with respect and dignity, and do not condone the use of our products or services which infringe the basic human rights of others. We expect our suppliers and business partners to adhere to the same high standards and to take all reasonable steps to combat slavery and human trafficking.
As part of the Birmingham and Solihull Procurement Collaborative (BSolPC) since September 2023, our procurement approach has continued to follows the Crown Commercial Service standard and includes a mandatory exclusion question regarding the Modern Slavery Act 2015. When procuring goods and services, we additionally apply NHS Terms and Conditions (for non-clinical procurement) and the NHS Standard Contract (for clinical procurement). Both require suppliers to comply with relevant legislation.
The inclusion of Social Value is actively promote within the BSolPC where it is relevant and appropriate to so whether this be a framework direct award or mini competition or UK tender and the ensure processes seek to eradicate modern slavery and trafficking within our supply chains.
As part of the monthly Head of Procurement and Senior Management Team meetings, a “ four box” report is collated of which is included “Sustainability/Social Value initiatives & Update “ and report updates within the various projects or initiatives being undertaken within this specific area.
Policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking
Our policies and procedures are devised to reflect we take all reasonable steps to achieve our commitment to support the eradication of slavery and human trafficking. This includes, but is not limited to, the following policies:
- Procurement Strategy;
- Counterfraud and Corruption Policy;
- Diversity and Human Rights (EDHR) at Work Policy;
- Conflict of Interest (including Gifts, Hospitality and Sponsorship) Policy;
- Safeguarding Adults Policy;
- Safeguarding Children Policy; and
- Freedom to Speak Up Policy.
Due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking in our business and supply chains
Through the BSOL PC the Trust has in place due diligence procurement and tendering processes to ensure all its selected suppliers and any third parties are compliant with the Modern Slavery Act (2015).
As of 1st April 2022, all NHS organisations are required to adopt central government’s Social Value Model (Procurement Policy Note 06/20), which requires a minimum 10% weighting in all procurements dedicated to Net Zero and Social Value, including the elimination of Modern Slavery. BCHC has implemented the Social Value Model within our evaluation criteria and have also liaised with framework organisations as to where this duly fits as part of the scored service criteria, when using procurement frameworks.
Our Procurement Team presented a report to the BCHC Equality & Diversity Human Rights Steering Group in July 2021 explaining how Social Value using the Crown Commercial Service Model would be embedded tenders post 1st April 2022. The group approved and endorsed the central approach.
Training on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
We ensure that all staff have access to training on how to identify those who are victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. This training includes the latest information and helps staff develop the skills to support those who come into contact with health services.
We have embedded this training within our safeguarding training, as part of our staff mandatory training programme, and have been clear about the action expected to be taken if suspected. Compliance with this training requirement is monitored through our mandatory training reporting as part of our performance management processes, which are overseen by our Finance and Performance Committee on behalf of the Board.
The BSolPC Strategic team have completed in June 2023 both the mandated Modern Slavery training provided through the Government Commercial College which comprises of four modules and an assessment test and Net Zero and Social Value training provided by the Social Value Portal comprised of three modules and assessment test.
Management and Effectiveness of steps being taken
BCHC supports the Government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking and recognises the significant role the NHS has to play in both combatting it, and supporting victims. In particular, we are committed to ensuring our supply chains and business activities are free from ethical and labour standards abuses. We have taken steps to assess and manage that risk and put in place mechanisms to monitor their effectiveness. Steps taken to date include:
- Implementation of the Crown Commercial Service’s Social Value Model, which requires a minimum 10% weighting in all procurements dedicated to Net Zero and Social Value, including the elimination of Modern Slavery, within our tendering criteria. These details are explicit within the recommendation report presented to our Executive Team Meeting, Finance and Performance Committee and/or Trust Board for approval, in line with the scheme of delegation.
- On a monthly basis BSOLPC submit a report to the Midland Regional Co-Ordination Centre SPOC confirming the number of projects which have included the minimum 10% net zero and social value weighting within the five themes as per the central Social Value Model.
- Specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from the Social Value Model will form part of the local contract and reporting KPIs for the successful supplier. The KPIs will be reported based on the agreed reporting period to ensure that the supplier is achieving its social value objectives.
- Within the new NHS contractual terms and conditions (August 2022) there is the requirement in the “key schedules “ to name the senior person appointed and responsible for the Social Value and Net Zero Commitments and there is also commitment to Social value and Social Value prescribing within the NHSE 23-24 Standard contract terms.
- Our Freedom to Speak Up Policy is intended to help establish and support an open culture and gives a platform for our employees to raise concerns about poor working practices. As part of that policy the Trust has a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian who is a member of staff independent of the Trust Board and Executive to whom staff can raise any concerns in a confidential manner.
- Our Safeguarding Policies for Adults and Children aim to protect and respond on behalf of adults and children with care and support needs who are experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect through the process of identifying, reporting and preventing abuse. The purpose of the Policy is to provide a pathway for staff to ensure safe practice, a clear process for partnership working and an understanding of the adult and children safeguarding process, which include, recognition, responding and reporting abuse.
- We confirm the identities of all new employees and their right to work in the United Kingdom, and pay all our employees above the National Living Wage.
- Our international recruited workforce are ethically recruited in line with the Department of Health and Social Care Code of Practice. We only work with regulated recruitment agencies and have employed an International Recruitment Pastoral Manager to ensure that are recruits have holistic support in and out of the workplace.
- We support our staff to understand and respond to modern slavery and human trafficking, and the impact that each and every individual working in the NHS can have in keeping present and potential future victims of modern slavery and human trafficking safe.
- Our Equality, Diversity and Human Rights (EDHR) policy, Dignity at Work and Grievance policies ensure that our employees have a mechanism by which they are able to address issues which affect them personally.
Further details can be found at: https://www.bhamcommunity.nhs.uk/equality-diversity-and-human-rights
Richard Kirby David Sallah
Chief Executive Trust Chair
This statement has been approved by the Trust Board on 5th October 2023 and will be reviewed annually.
Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)
NHS England introduced the Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) into the 2018/19 NHS Standard Contact.
The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of ten specific measures (metrics) which enables NHS organisations to compare the workplace and career experiences of Disabled and non-disabled staff. NHS organisations use the metrics data to develop and publish an action plan.
Year on year comparison enables NHS organisations to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality.
Making a difference for Disabled staff
The WDES is important, because research shows that a motivated, included and valued workforce helps to deliver high quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and improved patient safety.
The WDES enables NHS organisations to better understand the experiences of their Disabled staff and supports positive change for all existing employees by creating a more inclusive environment for Disabled people working and seeking employment in the NHS.
The standard requires organisations to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality.
Our results and associated action plan are published in the BCHC Workforce Disability Equality Standard Report & Action Plan 2023-24. You can also read our WDES Action Plan Narrative 2023.
Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)
NHS England has incorporated the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) into the 2015/16 NHS Standard Contact.
The standard requires organisations to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality.
The NHS Equality and Diversity Council announced on 31 July 2014 that it had agreed action to ensure employees from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.
This is important because studies shows that a motivated, included and valued workforce helps deliver high quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and better patient safety.
Our results and associated action plan are published in the BCHC Workforce Race Equality Standard Action Plan and Report 2023-24. You can also read our WRES Action Plan Narrative 2023.
To find out more please visit the following web pages: