King’s serves a richly diverse population and works hard to ensure that all our services are fair and equally accessible to everyone. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the way we look after our staff.
We aim to employ a workforce which is as representative as possible of this population, so we are open to the value of differences in age, disability, gender, marital status, pregnancy and maternity, race, sexual orientation, and religion or belief.
King’s believes that as a public sector organisation we have an obligation to have recruitment, training, promotion and disciplinary procedures and policies that are sensitive to these differences. We think that by doing so, we are better able to treat our patients as well as a better place to work.
Our vision, which applies to staff, patients, and patients’ families, is to be ‘effortlessly inclusive’. To achieve that vision, we aim to:
- treat everyone with respect and dignity at all times
- challenge discriminatory behaviour and practice
- recognise and embrace diversity
- ensure equal and easy access to services
- ensure equal access to employment and development opportunities
- consult and engage with staff, patients and their families to ensure that the services and the facilities of the Trust meet their needs.
The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) replaces previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. The Act’s aim is to simplify the law, remove inconsistencies and make it easier for people to understand and comply with, as well as strengthening the law to help tackle discrimination and inequality. The majority of the Act came into force on 1st October 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty came into force on 5th April 2011. The Equality Duty ensures that all Public Bodies play their part in making society fairer by tackling discrimination and providing equality of opportunity for all.
The Equality Duty is a duty on Public Bodies and others carrying out public functions. It ensures that public bodies consider the needs of all individuals in their day to day work-in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees.
The new Equality Duty covers the following protected characteristics:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage and Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Race-this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
- Religion or belief (this includes lack of belief)
- Sexual orientation
The Equality Duty has three aims. It requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination-harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share protected characteristic and people who do not share it: and
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
As part of the Act, public sector organisations must publish evidence to confirm they are meeting the three aims of the Act as highlighted above. Please see King's Equality & Diversity System Assessment.
The evidence presented by the Trust has been collated as part of the implementation of the Department of Health’s Equality Delivery System (EDS). The EDS is designed as a tool to be used to help all staff and NHS organisations understand how equality can drive improvements and strengthen the accountability of services to patients and the public. It will help ensure that everyone - patients, public and staff - has a voice in how organisations are performing and where they should improve.
The EDS encourages Trusts to work with their service users, staff and stakeholders to gather and analyse information on equalities; set equality objectives and make the changes required to become better employers and improve the way frontline health services deliver good health outcomes for the protected groups who experience the greatest inequalities.
We have used the EDS to agree our equality objectives - please see: Equality and Diversity System Objectives - summary tables. The EDS Objectives Tracker highlights what actions we have taken to reach our objectives to date and outlines the remaining actions required to complete all of these objectives.
As part of our Public Sector Equality Duties we will also be issuing our Annual Workforce Equality Information Report 2013 in due course.
We use Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) to help us look at what impact an existing or proposed policy, procedure, practice or service is likely to have on different groups of people. They aim to eliminate discrimination and improve equality. EIAs assess a number of important areas, including race, disability and gender.
We publish reports every six months on the EIAs we undertake.
- EIA Highlight Reports - October 2012 - March 2013
- EIA Highlight Reports - April 2012-September 2012
- EIA Highlight Reports - October 2011-March 2012
- EIA Highlight Reports - March 2011
- EIA Highlight Reports - June 2011
- EIA Highlight Reports - September 2011
In February 2010, the Trust implemented new guidelines promoting the use of telephone interpreters over face-to face interpreting. This has led to an increase in the number of patients being able to access interpreting services while visiting the Trust.
We also produce an annual workforce equality information report: