Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is known by its shorthand of ‘EDI’ across NHS organisations and may just be called ‘inclusion’ or ‘equality’ in local authority and social care settings. 

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

EDI teams and programmes generally have responsibility for fulfilling legal and statutory requirements – such as ensuring they meet the Equality Act 2010 or the Human Rights Act 1998 – but there is also a broader agenda around workplace transformation and the evolution of healthcare services for patients and communities.

The Workforce and People programme currently has responsibility for the EDI portfolios across the ICS, including work with CCGs , acute trusts, and providers, social care and the VCSE sector. For more specific information beyond what is available on this webpage, please contact the workforce programme for a discussion, by emailing: hullccg,hcvstppmo@nhs.net.

Since becoming an ICS in shadow form, work has focused on the following areas below, while offering support to our colleagues in CCGs and acute trusts to develop their EDI plans at a place level.

Staff Equality Networks

We have two staff ‘networks of networks’ for colleagues across health, care and the voluntary sector with protected characteristics. Presently these Networks are the Disabled Staff Network, and the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity Network. They meet bi-monthly and are in the process of developing their objectives, building their platforms, and resourcing their action plans. The networks also importantly provide a safe space for colleagues to share stories or difficult experiences, and we are nurturing compassionate spaces across the ICS for more dialogue to take place.

We are developing our plans to establish further system-level, collaborative networks, such as the LGBTQIA+ Staff Network and a Women’s Network. A great deal of work is taking place across the ICS around the topic of menopause, and we are working towards becoming a menopause-friendly ICS, so a women’s network may help to further our ambitions and equality in the health and social care working environments. At the same time we don’t wish to duplicate the work of staff networks already existing within our partner organisations, such as Acute Trusts, and we are ensuring that we only complete work which is of added value.

The Networks are an important vehicle in providing safe spaces for staff with protected characteristics, who may face marginalisation, discrimination and prejudice when going about their personal and professional lives. They also enable the ICS to raise awareness of barriers and issues facing protected groups, such as health inequalities and endemic systemic oppression, and they allow the voices of marginalised people to be heard in planning and strategic levels of the ICS, influencing service design and cultural shifts. We are committed to genuine change and we are working hard in the background to build cultures of inclusion and equality across our many diverse organisations.

Strategic and Operational Change and Transformation

EDI is an intrinsic part of change and transformation at strategic and operational levels across the ICS. It is about ensuring representation and recruitment of protected groups at all levels of staffing and leadership, eliminating discriminatory processes and functions in our organisations and services, and reducing health inequalities across our communities – particularly where those inequalities are driven by entrenched disparities in protected groups and marginalised people.

Ultimately we want to get to a position where there is a sense of belonging for all, there is great diversity and representation, and nobody suffers an unjust outcome or a negative experience because of their protected characteristic.

There is vital strategic work to undertake to get there, be that working with the objectives of the NHS People Plan (2020) or developing and implementing our own 5-Year People Strategy (2021-2026). We are also working hard to make links across other networks, programmes and settings, such as increased working with business intelligence and data, Population Health Management and public health, communications and engagement teams, and local enterprise partnerships. We are developing an EDI structure to take forwards into the new ICB organisation from July 2022, when we become a statutory body, and we are taking this transitional period as an opportunity for far-reaching and impactful transformation for our people and communities.

Strategic Responsibilities and National Frameworks

Although EDI is about much more than this, it also includes working towards a number of legal duties and national frameworks set out by government and by NHS England and Improvement. Legal and statutory duties are currently managed by our CCGs and other sovereign partners at a place level, until the ICS/ICB becomes a legal body from July 2022.

The main legal duties we have are:

  • The Equality Act, 2010
  • The Human Rights Act, 1998
  • The Public Sector Equality Duty

There are several national frameworks and standards we also work hard to meet:

  • Equality Delivery System (EDS2 – becoming EDS3)
  • Gender Pay Gap reporting
  • Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)
  • Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)
  • Accessible Information Standard.

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