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Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

We want to be outstanding for everyone, both patients and the people we employ. Data shows us that a significant number of staff and patients from minority groups experience inequalities.

These result in poor experience, or what we call differentials of experience.

Tackling this inequality and discrimination is our top priority and will require purposeful, collective effort to bring about a cultural change, where everyone takes an active role to ensure inclusion and belonging for all.

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy 2021-2024 sets out our aim of creating an organisational culture that supports inclusion and belonging, ensures civility of all staff and takes a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment.

We’ll do this by: 

  • Embed this cultural change focusing on allyship, and cultural and emotional intelligence
  • Eliminating differentials in experience for all our people
  • Equipping leaders with inclusive behaviours
  • Giving a voice to those who use our services
  • Addressing and eliminating health inequalities

Read our full Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy 2021- 2024 (pdf document)

We’re committed to ensuring our policy documents meet the diverse needs of the services we provide, our population and our workforce, so that no-one is disadvantaged and everyone is able to be their authentic selves.

We’re committed to ensuring that no one receives less favourable treatment or discrimination on the grounds of their age, disability, if they are transitioning at work, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

We take a zero-tolerance approach within all of our services.

The Equality Act 2010 protects all individuals against discrimination in employment and service delivery.

There are nine protected characteristics under the Act:

  • Gender reassignment
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity

As a Trust, we’re also bound by the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • Advance equality of opportunity
  • Promote good relations between people with protected characteristics

To continue reducing health inequality, we even go further than the PSED and include socio-economic disadvantage into our considerations.

To meet this, we carry out an equality analysis and impact assessment for every one of our policies. You can find the relevant information at the end of our policy documents.

We also report our performance annually and publish our equality objectives.

Workforce and people objectives

Our strategy sets out five clear objectives for improving staff experience:

  1. Address and reduce inequalities in experience
  2. Equip leaders to support teams with inclusive behaviours
  3. Develop career progression and talent management
  4. Develop and grow the three staff networks
  5. Deliver the Ready for Change programme focusing on our managers and leaders

Patient and community objectives

Our strategy sets out six clear objectives to improve the experiences of everyone who uses our services:

  1. Embed use of the Accessible Information Standard in all services
  2. Improve recording of patient demographics to improve health outcomes
  3. Identify actions and resources needed to reduce health inequalities
  4. Support our LGBT+ staff and communities through Stonewall and Reading Pride
  5. Develop systems to ensure inclusive recruitment in all our services
  6. Co-produce resources needed for trans’ patients’ pathways

WRES and WDE reports

In April 2015, NHS England mandated the Workplace Race Equality Standard (WRES) for all large NHS service providers and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

The WRES is designed to help us achieve greater diversity in our workforce to match our local communities.

Read more about the WRES reports on the NHS website (opens new browser tab)

As part of the standard, we’re required annually to publish our workforce ethnicity data.

We also publish our Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) reports.

Read our WRES and WDES reports

In line with the national requirements, we've published our Gender Pay Gap 2022 report.

Read our Gender Pay Gap 2022 report (pdf)

Our Workforce Race Equality standard was submitted in September 2019, and steady progress is being made, with the Making it Right programme starting to have an impact.

However, this improvement is not yet reflected in the experiences of our staff through the National Staff Survey and therefore further work is needed to see the improvements we aspire to. 

The NHS England WRES Team has provided us with specific aspirational targets and we are planning to undertake some more detailed analysis to inform our proposed workforce targets.

These will be informed by the aspirational targets and our assessment of workforce supply at different bands to ensure we are working on the right things. 

We’ve been a Stonewall Diversity Champion since 2011 and take a number of steps to make sure we’re practicing sexual orientation and transgender equality:

  • Annually participating in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index
  • Advertising our job opportunities in the Starting Out careers guide
  • Attending networking events to learn about best practice
  • Making sure all our policies are LGBT inclusive
  • Supporting our LGBT and Friends staff network
  • Embedding best practice in sexual orientation equality into our policy and practice
  • Working with local employers to improve practice across the Thames Valley
  • Attending Reading Pride and delivering health-checks to demonstrate our commitment to the local LGBT community
  • Committing to sexual orientation and gender identity equality

In 2014, 2015 and 2016 we were recognised for our success in promoting sexual orientation equality in employment by being awarded Top 100 employer status by Stonewall. 

Our Network members successfully provided reverse mentoring to senior Trust staff in 2016/17.

Find out more about our staff networks (opens new browser tab)

Visit the Stonewall website to find out more (opens new browser tab)

We signed the Time to Change pledge to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination back in 2013 and have since set up a working group and agreed an action plan to carry this out.

The main objective is to empower people with mental health problems, their friends and families, to talk about the issue confidently and without facing discrimination.

Visit the Time to Change website to find out more (opens new browser tab)