Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Welcome to Airedale NHS Foundation Trust’s information pages relating to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

As a service provider and employer, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust is committed to ensuring principles pertaining to fairness / justice are a reality for all.

The Trust is committed to working pro-actively to eliminate any form of discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, disability, age, marital status, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

The Trust believes that principles pertaining to Equality and Diversity need to be embedded into all aspects of service delivery and employment to truly ensure equity for all. Only by mainstreaming Equality, Diversity and Inclusion principles in all aspects of our work can we value the diversity of our staff and patients and work towards ensuring all groups are respected and included. The following pages show how we are addressing issues around Equality and Diversity.

Equality –  in its broader sense is essentially around creating a fairer society where everyone can participate on an equal basis and have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Issues pertaining to Equality (either in terms of service delivery or employment) need to be addressed as research shows that due to past and sometimes on-going unfair discrimination, not everyone can participate fully and fulfil their potential.Equality therefore is primarily about ensuring individuals have equal access, equal participation and equal outcomes.

Diversity – is about recognising, accepting and embracing individual’s differences rather than being afraid of them. The pure essence around the principles pertaining to Diversity are not just about appreciating differences between individuals in terms of gender, abilities and disabilities, cultural and religious aspects, ethnic origins to name but a few, but also accepting that any differences are valued and respected and that these differences do not act as barriers either in the receiving or delivery of services. Put simply Diversity is around valuing differences and respecting people for who they are.

The fundamental principles for inclusion in respect of Equality and Diversity mean;

For Patients

  • You and your family have the right to be treated fairly and to be routinely involved in decisions about your treatment and care. You can expect to be treated with dignity and respect, taking into cognisance age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
  • You have a responsibility to treat other patients and our staff with dignity and respect.

For Staff

  • You have the right to be treated fairly in recruitment and career progression. You can expect to work in an environment where diversity is valued and equality of opportunity is promoted. You will not be discriminated against on any grounds including age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
  • You have a responsibility to ensure that you treat our patients and your colleagues with dignity and respect.

Inequalities, unfair treatment and often exclusions thrive in those environments and situations where there is a lack of knowledge associated with cultural norms and the added confidence needed to relate to individuals from differing backgrounds. Not engaging with others, because of their perceived differences lead us to naturally incline with those we feel most comfortable with and avoid those with whom we do not have any common identity.

Antidiscrimination legislation in the UK centred around organisations ensuring fairness and equality of treatment being integrated within overall concepts in recruitment and employment conditions.  Over the years much of the equality legislation was then extended to cover access to services – broadening the scope of ‘unlawful discriminatory practices.’

The Trust, like other public sector organisations, has in the past collected evidence around health inequalities – this information however, was more about ensuring policies and procedures being equitable.

The issue however has always been around quantifying and assessing;

  • the impact the application of the process / procedures has had upon the health of the patient
  • how the nature of service provision changed / was addressed taking into cognisance the diversity of the patient

With the inception of the Equality Act 2010, and the previous equality statutory instruments being brought together under one umbrella, we feel that the values underpinning equality and setting our priorities for all of the protected characteristics’ need to be re-addressed in a revised way.