Equality and diversity is at the heart of the NHS strategy. South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust is fully committed to equality and diversity, both as an employer and a service provider.
The Interim Equality Objectives 2012-13 document below sets out the equality objectives for the Trust and highlights the Trust's associated equality priorities. The interim equality objectives support the delivery of Trust business and enable the Trust to work towards providing equitable access, experience and outcomes for service users from all protected groups and good workforce practices for staff from similar backgrounds.
The Trust's Interim Objectives and supporting Framework (see section below) and Action Plan assist the Trust to meet its obligations under the general equality duty, that of eliminating discrimination, advancing equality and fostering good relations.
The Interim Equality Objectives and associated plans have been informed by findings from the Service and Workforce Equality Report 2012.
In our role as service provider it is vital that we ensure equality of access, equality of experience and equality of outcome for all the diverse populations we serve.
To help achieve this, the Trust employs community development workers (CDWs), who:
CDWs promote better ethnicity monitoring, the development of more culturally appropriate services and include black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in decision-making and governance.
Our annual Happy Soul Festival (new window) helps us to engage a wide range of cultural groups and local communities in issues around mental health. CDWs play a key role in organising this festival.
We also conduct user experience equality surveys. These give people the chance to provide anonymous feedback about their experience of using our services for adults.
As part of its commitment to equality and diversity, the Trust works hard to ensure that our workforce reflects the community it serves, and that all our staff:
This results in a workforce that feels values and respected. It also enables our staff to provide the best possible treatment and care to our clients.
The Trust currently has a Race Equality Scheme, a Gender Equality Scheme, and a Disability Equality Scheme, which have been in place for several years. A Trust Equality and Diversity Framework (EDF) has now been developed which will replace these equality schemes.
The Framework covers a broader remit and takes into account the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. It sets out how the Trust will meet its duties under the Equality Act, its commitment to the NHS Equality Delivery System, and the governance structures and arrangements for managing the equality and diversity agenda in the Trust. It will be supported by a detailed action plan.
It has been developed in consultation with the Service User Reference Group, the Carers Families and Friends Reference Group, and the staff Joint Consultative Committee, and is presented to the Trust Board for approval.
This report has been prepared to provide an initial overview of the equality indicators for clinical service delivery and workforce. It supports the Trust's Equality and Diversity Framework and will inform the direction of priorities contained within the EDF Action Plan being developed, and is published to demonstrate the Trust's compliance with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.