Equality, diversity and inclusion

NHS North East London is committed to promoting equality and diversity amongst all our staff, stakeholders, service users and patients – fulfilling our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty.

We are committed to embedding equality and inclusion in everything that we do, but more specifically:

  • How we commission services on behalf of our residents 
  • How we recruit and support the development of our staff
  • How we proactively engage and support all our residents particularly given the diversity of our population and service users

We know that a diverse and inclusive workforce can help us to develop new ways of thinking leading to improvement and innovation in the way we work. For us, it is vital that all colleagues are treated fairly and are enabled to reach their full potential.  We are dedicated to eliminating discrimination, valuing diversity and promoting equality of opportunity, to build and sustain an inclusive environment to deliver and receive care.

We have a responsibility for improving health outcomes for some of the most diverse communities in London. Our work on embedding equality into the commissioning of health services is underpinned by engagement with our stakeholders. We believe that engagement with and drawing on the expertise of residents, patients, service providers and third sector organisations is critical in shaping services that are of high quality, value for money and reflect the needs of our diverse populations. 

We are proud to be a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Disability Confident Committed Employer and have active BME, LGBTQ+, Ability and Women’s staff networks.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy informs our actions to further advance diversity and inclusion. This strategy builds upon much of the excellent work that is already in place and demonstrates our commitment to diversity and inclusion for our workforce, the way we manage our services and our influence with stakeholders. It sets out what our workforce can expect from the organisation, its leaders and from each other in order to foster a culture of inclusion and belonging. By embracing new ways of working, utilising technology and facilitating greater collaboration across our teams, organisations and sectors we can create a workplace environment that supports each and every one of us to feel and perform at our best.

We have worked to ensure that the strategy is aligned to our existing priorities and NHS values as well as the key objectives set out in the NHS People Plan, NHS Constitution and NHS London Workforce Race Equality Strategy. This strategy is a living document, which will be reviewed regularly, in collaboration with the staff networks and leadership teams to ensure that it remains current in response to new challenges in demand and services.

As a public sector organisation, we are required to ensure that equality, diversity and human rights are embedded in all our functions and activities as per the Equality Act 2010, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the NHS Constitution.

The Equality Act 2010 provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and ensure equality of opportunity for all. We have general and specific responsibilities known as the ‘public sector equality duties’.

The general equality duty requires us to meet the three aims of the Act. These are:

  • Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act;
  • Advancing equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
  • Fostering good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not

Specific equality duties: 

To assist public authorities in meeting the three aims of the general duty, specific duties were introduced. Meeting the specific duties provides the public with the information they need to challenge and hold us to account for our performance on equality. The specific duties require us to:

  • Publish annual equality information to demonstrate compliance with the general equality duty
  • Prepare and publish one or more specific and measurable objective that we think we need to achieve to further any of the aims of the general equality duty

Full details of the public sector equality duty are available on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) was introduced by NHS England and the NHS Equality and Diversity Council in 2015. The WRES was developed as a result of evidence that NHS staff from a Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds (BME) have a poorer experience at work and have less opportunities than their white colleagues. Implementation of the WRES is a requirement for both the NHS commissioners and providers organisations. The WRES is a key component in how organisations measure their work to deliver tangible and lasting interventions to race equality and inclusion, as well as supporting how, as a commissioner, we deliver on our obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).

Download our Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) Report 2019-2020 and Action Plan.

Download our Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) Report 2020-2021 and Action Plan.

In 2018 the Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) was launched to in the NHS to improve the experiences of disabled staff working in and seeking employment in the NHS. This work is a fundamental part of our diversity and inclusion work and understanding how it affects our staff is hugely important to us.

Integrated Care Systems are mandated to return their workforce data for the WDES in 2021 and as part of this we will also publish our data and develop an action plan to address any disparities.

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average (mean or median) earnings of men and women across a workforce. Organisations with a headcount of 250 or more on their ‘snapshot date’ must comply with regulations on gender pay gap reporting. Gender pay gap calculations are based on employer payroll data drawn from a specific date each year. This specific date is called the ‘snapshot date’. We will publish our gender pay gap annually to understand the size and causes of our pay gaps and identify any issues that need to be addressed. Publishing and monitoring the gender pay gap will help us understand how effective our actions are in reducing it.

As a Stonewall Diversity Champion we are committed to taking steps to advance LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace. We will participate in Stonewall’s Workforce Equality Index, an external benchmarking exercise which allows participating employers to demonstrate their work in 10 areas of employment policy and practice. Publishing the data will enable us to understand what’s going well and where we need to focus our efforts as well as how we’ve performed in comparison with other NHS organisations. The recommendations we will receive will be used in developing a robust action plan that aligns with our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.