Equality Diversity and Inclusion

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act came into force from October 2010 providing a modern, single legal framework with clear, streamlined law to more effectively tackle disadvantage and discrimination.

There are nine characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2010. They are:


A person belonging to a particular age (for example a 32-year-old) or range of ages (for example 18 to 30 year-olds).


A person has a disability if she or he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Gender Reassignment

The process of transitioning from one gender to another.

Marriage and Civil Partnership

Marriage is a union between a man and a woman or between a same-sex couple. Same-sex couples can also have their relationships legally recognised as ‘civil partnerships’. Civil partners must not be treated less favourably than married couples (except where permitted by the Equality Act).

Pregnancy and maternity

Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.


Refers to the protected characteristic of race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.

Religion and belief

Religion refers to any religion, including a lack of religion. Belief refers to any religious or philosophical belief and includes a lack of belief. Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.


A man or a woman.

Sexual orientation

Whether a person’s sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.

Public Sector Equality Duty

On 5 April 2011, the Public Sector Equality Duty (the equality duty) came into force. The equality duty was created under the Equality Act 2010.

The equality duty was developed in order to harmonise the equality duties and to extend it across the protected characteristics. It consists of a general equality duty, supported by specific duties which are imposed by secondary legislation.  In summary, those subject to the equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Regulations came into effect in September 2011 requiring all public sector bodies to publish ‘relevant, proportionate information demonstrating compliance’ and to set ‘specific, measurable equality objectives’.  As an NHS organisation we are required to:

  • Publish a report annually which explains how we achieved the general duty and provide information about people who share a ‘protected characteristic’.
  • Publish our Equality Objectives which will include a plan of what we intend every four years.

Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) (Disabled Access) Bill 

The Bill would amend Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 to improve access to public buildings for wheelchair users. The Bill would apply to buildings accessed by a single step, and would create a requirement to replace the step with a ramp suitable for wheelchair access. This requirement would come into force twelve months after the passing of the Act for steps less than six inches high. After a further year, the requirement would be extended to steps between six and twelve inches in height. These provisions would apply in England, Wales and Scotland. These provisions would not apply to buildings which have more than one step to gain access.

For details of the Bill go to: http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/LLN-2017-0081

Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

Almost one in five of the staff working in the NHS is from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background, yet we now know that the treatment and opportunities that they get in the workplace often do not correspond with the values that the NHS represents. We also know that this has significant adverse impacts on the effective and efficient running of the NHS, including on the quality of care received by all patients.

It was in response to this evidence that the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) was mandated across the NHS in April 2015. Since its introduction, the WRES has required healthcare providers to self-assess on this agenda and to understand the specific challenges they face in ensuring all staff are treated equally and are supported to fulfil their full potential.

The WRES continues to prompt inquiry and assist healthcare organisations to develop and implement evidence-based responses to the challenges their data reveal. It assists organisations to meet the aims of the NHS Five Year Forward View and complements other NHS policy frameworks such as Developing People – Improving Care, as well as the principles and values set out in The NHS Constitution. The SWB WRES reporting data offers where possible our response to the metrics.

SWB publish our Workforce Equality and Inclusion data across all protected characteristics annually on 1 July and we aim to present the data in a user friendly and transparent way. This helps us to use the data to make improvements and also assists applicants or health and social care partners to develop their understanding of our workforce and leadership.

Richard Beeken, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“It is good to report improvements from our most recent WRES report.  We are bridging the gaps against most of the indicators. Our five year EDI plan supports our ambition of being a more inclusive and compassionate employer.

As an Executive Team we remain committed to prioritising the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda and tackling the inequalities that exist for our colleagues from a Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority background.

Together we can make meaningful and lasting improvements that benefit our colleagues, patients and the communities we serve.”

Equality and Diversity Standard 2 (EDS2)

In April 2010 the Equality Act was published with a phased implementation to commence in October 2010.

The EDS2 is a set of nationally agreed objectives and outcomes comprising of 18 outcomes grouped under the following four goals:

  • Better health outcomes
  • Improved patient access and experience
  • A representative and supported workforce
  • Inclusive leadership

We grade our equality performance against the EDS goals Red, Amber, Green and purple rating as below:

Excelling – Purple
Achieving – Green
Developing – Amber
Undeveloped – Red

For our latest audit results please see the Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report above.

Workforce Disability Equality Standard

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council (EDC) has taken another pivotal step to advance equality within the NHS.  The Council has recommended that a Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) should be mandated in England from April 2018.

What is the Workforce Disability Equality Standard?

The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of specific measures (metrics) that will enable NHS organisations to compare the experiences of disabled and non-disabled staff. This information will then be used to develop a local action plan, and enable us to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality.

The WDES is important, because research shows that a motivated, included and valued workforce helps to deliver high quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and improved patient safety.

The implementation of the WDES will enable us to better understand the experiences of our disabled staff. It will support positive change for existing employees, and enable a more inclusive environment for disabled people working in the Trust. Like the Workforce Race Equality Standard on which the WDES is in part modelled, it will also allow us to identify good practice and compare performance regionally and by type of trust.