Our Trust will be working with all other NHS Trusts in the county over the next year to implement a new Equality Delivery System (EDS) to improve the way in which people from different groups are treated as service users, carers and employees . The EDS will be used in every NHS organisation in England meaning that wherever you go for NHS services you will find organisations working to the same set of goals around equality & human rights. These are:
- Better health outcomes for all
- Improved patient access & experience
- Empowered, engaged & well supported staff
- Inclusive leadership at all levels
So what makes this different from everything else that happened before?
Well to make the EDS work properly it’s extremely important that we not only speak to the whole community in Hertfordshire, but also that we get them involved in the process. What this means is that there will be opportunities for local communities to help us govern what we do around equality and diversity. This could mean being involved in rating how well we are performing. However it could also mean that you help us to ensure providing services that meet the needs of all protected characteristics.
What are protected characteristics?
Protected characteristics refer to all the different groups of people that are covered under the Equality Act 2010 – the main piece of legislation that protects people from discrimination in the UK. These are:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage & Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy & Maternity
- Religion & Beliefs
- Sexual Orientation
What can I do to help?
You can do as little or as much as you want, but some of the things we need help with are:
- Being involved in community events to feedback what you think we should be doing better and what is working well.
- Getting involved on community panels where you will use your expertise to advise the NHS in Hertfordshire of how it can be responsive to the needs of local communities.
- Become an EDS champion – help us take this work into the centre of communities and be trained up to deliver talks or workshops to all different groups of people.
- Just talk to us – if you have an idea or solution to a problem why not tell us, we might be able to use it!
If you would like to get in touch with someone within the Trust to find out more please contact: Claire Short – equality and diversity lead at firstname.lastname@example.org