Equality and diversity

Our commitment to equality, diversity and human rights

As an employer for, and a provider of, health services in Kent, London and neighbouring counties, we take the issues of fairness, rights and equality very seriously.

We don’t just observe equality and diversity principles because we are required to. We recognise they greatly improve our ability to provide the services that we deliver.

We will continue to develop our staff and to strive to ensure accessible services for everyone in our communities.

While there are many legal requirements surrounding equalities, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust independently recognises the importance of equality and diversity and the benefits that observing the principles bring.

Accessing healthcare can be an unsettling experience and we want you to feel fully respected and valued in your dealings with us.

We also recognise the value of our staff and their diversity and aim to ensure that our workforce is representative of the communities we serve. We understand that colleagues work better when they can be themselves and appreciate the quality, understanding and experience that they bring to our organisation.

Equality is written into our values framework, we ensure all of our staff receive training in the subject, we use equality analysis and equality and diversity is embedded into our policies. We use the Equality Delivery System to record and evidence the work we do and we publish our equality objectives on a regular basis.

We are consistently looking for opportunities to engage with our communities, to help us to plan and deliver services in a fair and equitable way.

Equality objectives

The Trust has four main objectives. The actions under each of these were developed with the involvement of our Patient Experience, Engagement and Equality Committee.

Goal 1 Better health outcomes:

Objective 1: To work with other NHS organisations, the voluntary sector and local authority to engage with young people and migrant communities to promote health improvement and reduce health inequalities. This includes working with young people who are from black and minority ethnic communities, disabled, LGBTQ and young carers.

Actions:

  • Hold the first meeting of the Kent and Medway NHS Youth Forum, which KCHFT leads on
  • Work with KCC Public Health to bid for funding for targeted health interventions with migrant communities and cultural awareness training for staff working with those communities.

Goal 2 Improved patient access and experience:

Objective 2: Using co-design principles to work with our patients and their families, our staff, other NHS organisations and the voluntary sector to improve access to services and patient and family experience of health care.

Actions:

  • Engage with disabled people and disability organisations to get feedback on their experience of having their communication needs met by the NHS.
  • Set up a network of engagement champions in Children and Young People’s services and provide them with access to training and on-going support.

Goal 3 A representative and supported workforce: 

Objective 3: To recruit and manage a diverse workforce and to create a workplace where our staff feel they are able to be themselves

Actions:

  • Review KCHFT policy and procedure against the requirements of the Workforce Disability Equality Standard, which is due to come into force in April 2018.
  • Develop an action plan related to the NHS Pledge supporting the employment of more people with learning disabilities in the NHS.
  • Agree a Transitioning at Work Policy to support transgender staff.

Goal 4 Leadership:

Objective 4: To ensure that equality and diversity is embedded in the business of KCHFT.

Actions:

  • Equality and Diversity Theme / Speaker at Senior Manager’s conference in 2017/18

Chief Executive to sign the NHS Employers / NHS England Pledge supporting the employment of more people with learning disabilities in the NHS.