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Equality and Diversity

Equality and Diversity

We're committed to equality of opportunity for all who use our services or work for us. We aim to create an environment that is free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

Our commitment includes striving to meet our obligations under the Equality Act (2010) and to uphold human rights in accordance with the Human Rights Act (1998). You can read our Equality and Diversity policy here.

Our workforce

We aim to promote diversity in employment and employ a workforce that reflects the communities we serve. We are a ‘two tick’ employer, demonstrating our commitment to ensuring any applicant with disabilities, who meets the essential criteria for a role, is guaranteed an interview. We also seek to make any reasonable adjustments to enable people with disabilities to gain or maintain employment with us.

NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard

We're committed to working towards the NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) and we are currently assessing our position. You can find our reporting template and action plan below

Further information is available from NHS England here

Protected Characteristics

We seek to ensure our services meet the needs of the people of the communities we serve. We do this by trying to understand if there is any differential impact on people with protected characteristics when they seek to access our services.

The Equality Act (2010) defines nine protected characteristics: age, sex (gender), disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, race and ethnicity, religion and belief, and maternity and pregnancy.

We want to ensure our services are delivered fairly and plan improvements to these and our policies, in relation to people with protected characteristics.

We ask equality monitoring questions during our assessment process; we know that some people may feel these questions are intrusive and wonder where the information goes. If you'd like to better understand how we use equality monitoring information, please contact us and we'll send you an information booklet. You can view the 'What's it got to do with you?' booklet here.

You can view the questions you may be asked here.

Equality priorities 2015/16 - 2017/18

Over the last year we have carried out an assessment against the Equality Delivery System, which is the tool to help us determine how well we are meeting our obligations under the Equality Act (2010) and our commitment to ensuring that people in North Somerset have equity of access to our services. 

We conducted our assessment with our staff and a group of specially trained volunteers.  A summary of our results can be read here.

From our assessment it was clear that we did not always have good enough data on which to base our assessment. We agreed the following priorities for 2015/2016:

  • To improve the quality of our date so that we can truly assess how we are doing
  • Improving data held on electronic patient record through raising awareness about the importance of this and the confidence of staff in collecting this data
  • To carry out an audit of and refresh equality data held on staff and reduce ‘unknown’ categories for ethnicity to less than 5%
  • To maintain our commitment to raising awareness of equality and diversity amongst staff through achieving 90% compliance with training
  • To carry out an assessment against the Workforce Race Equality Standards and implement any required actions.

Complaints

We have an effective complaints procedure in place should staff or service users feel they have experienced discrimination, harrassment or victimisation. Any allegation will be treated very seriously and will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure if neccessary.

AVoice

AVoice is an advocacy service which supports adult victims of crime and antisocial behaviour, and is run by the Care Forum in partnership with SEAP (Support, Empower, Advocate, Promote) and SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality).

AVoice provides free, independent and confidential advocacy to anyone over the age of 18 who lives in any of the following areas: Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Somerset and North Somerset.  

AVoice can work with people who have become a victim because of their age, race, gender indentity, sexual orientation, religion or belief, have a learning disability, have issues with their mental health and/or physical disabilities. AVoice will also advocate for victims of crime and antisocial behaviour who have not reported it to the police.

Individuals, their family and friends and referring organisations can contact AVoice by:

Telephone: 0800 254 0777 (freefone)
Email: avoice@thecareforum.org.uk