Our Workforce Equality Standard Strategy
This strategy will provide Solent NHS Trust with a sustainable delivery model to achieve positive improvements in regard to the WRES metrics contained within the NHS England WRES Guidance (appendix 1).
Equality, Diversity and Human Rights are enshrined in the NHS constitution and are central to everything we do here at Solent NHS Trust. We aim to be recognised as a national leader for the delivery of equality and diversity and our aims are illustrated in our Equality Standard Roadmap to 2018 below.
We have set ourselves ambitious targets and responded by launching a work programme for WRES that is evaluated on positive measurable outcomes.
We will focus on improving the health, wellbeing and independence of everyone who comes into contact with us.
We will embed equality and diversity in everything we do.
The Equality Delivery System 2 (EDS2) framework is a national tool developed for the NHS by the NHS to aid the delivery of personal, fair and diverse services. The EDS2 is a quality improvement driver for staff and patient services. It plays an important role in helping us to evidence work to demonstrate compliance with our statutory Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) - Equality Act (2010) to cover 9 protected characteristics.
Timetable for implementation
Recent research and high profile reports (e.g. Kline 2014 and Francis QC 2015) as well as a considerable body of evidence, has shown that the treatment and experience of BME staff within the NHS, is on average, significantly worse than those of white NHS staff. Across the NHS as a whole, the research highlights workforce inequality that includes areas such as promotion, grading, disciplinary, bullying and access to mandatory training. The absence of representation in senior leadership positions across the NHS is also significant.
This research was considered by the Equality and Diversity Council (EDC) in 2014 who concluded that early and decisive steps needed to be taken to remedy the situation for the benefit of patients and staff. Following a three month consultation period, the WRES was accepted for implementation; for the first time, organisations employing almost all of the 1.4 million NHS workforce, are required to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low levels of BME Board representation.
The Workforce Race Equality Standard is now mandated through the NHS standard contract 2015/16 and in the CCG Assurance Framework 2015/16. The Workforce Race Equality Standard will be inspected against by the CQC from 2016/17 to help assess whether organisations are well-led.
There are a number of milestones associated with the WRES for NHS organisations;
The WRES Implementation Plan includes innovations such as:
Strategic WRES Action: Diverse Data Analysis
Equality and Diversity is a systematic process of culture change in our organisation and progress is measured through our Diversity Scorecard. The scorecard will track both quantitative and qualitative metrics and ensure we are recruiting, developing and retaining a highly skilled diverse workforce.
Our workforce reporting is structured across the following key aims:
To gain value from equality and diversity requires leadership and a sustained, systematic approach and long-term commitment.
Leaders are responsible for being able to manage a diverse workforce, work alongside members of diverse teams and create an inclusive culture. We are committed to continuing to build the capabilities of our leaders so that they can champion our leadership commitment to diversity.
What we will do:
Our diverse workforce enables us to benefit from the creativity and skills of all our staff and it is important that this diversity is present across all levels of the organisation. It enables us to tap into a broad spectrum of experience and ideas that comes as being part of a diverse team.
What we will do:
We want to enable all our staff to be fully involved in the Trust’s work, to protect them from unfair treatment and ensure each individual can reach their potential. We have developed a set of Equality Standards that will aim to embed equality and diversity throughout the organisation and continue to identify innovative ways to promote an inclusive workplace culture for all our staff.
What we will do:
The Workforce Diversity Scorecard is how we measure our equality and diversity progress using a variety of research methods (qualitative and quantitative). This includes our EDS2 evidence and grading; PSED and WRES. Under the Equality Act 2010, we have a duty to ’publish information relating to persons who share a relevant protected characteristic who are its employees’ and ‘publish information relating to persons who share a relevant protected characteristic who are other persons affected by its policies and practices’.
The public sector equality duty, which came into force on 5 April 2011, was created by the Equality Act 2010 in order to harmonise the race, disability and gender equality duties and extend protection to the new protected characteristics of age, sex, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief and sexual orientation. There is now a requirement for public bodies to publish:
Our workforce data will form part of the equality information we will collate, monitor and publish to help us meet our responsibilities under the new duty and ensure equality considerations are reflected in our employment practices and policies
Our WRES strategy is aligned to our organisational values and objectives to ensure a consistent and sustainable delivery model for equality, diversity and inclusion.
Patient, workforce and customer involvement is central to everything we do. We will ensure our WRES journey involves everyone in everything we do.