Equality and Diversity

Ward sister teaching junior staff at the computer

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, other formal employment policies and procedures that are sensitive to these differences. We think that by doing so, we are better able to treat our patients as well as being 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.

Equality Act (2010) - Public Sector Equality Duty

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:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • 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)
  • Sex
  • 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.

Equality Delivery System

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 use the EDS framework to support us in developing our inclusion objectives which are monitored and reviewed via relevant Board level committees. Progress is reported to the Trust Board via six-monthly updates and our annual inclusion report. Staff are kept up to date via the Chief Executive's Brief which is issued monthly and via other regular communication channels.

All of this ensures that inclusion is not just a 'tick box' exercise but something that is embedded in our every day activity.

Equality Impact Assessments

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 regular reports on the EIAs we undertake.

Annual Report

We also publish annual Workforce Equality Information Reports:

Easier access to interpreting services

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.