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    NHS Shetland

    Embracing Equality and Diversity Single Equality Strategy

    Introduction This Single Equality Strategy is NHS Shetland’s (hereafter referred to as the Board) response to how we will meet our statutory general and specific duties in relation to race, disability and gender equality and extend them to include the other equality areas – age, religion or belief and sexual orientation. It reflects the way in which we will build upon the work already begun through our previous race, disability and gender equality schemes as we continue to work towards fulfilling our moral, social and legal obligations to put equality at the heart of everything we do. This document is available in other formats and languages upon request. Purpose The purpose of our strategy is to create a cohesive approach to embed “ensuring equality and valuing diversity” into the day-to-day work of the Board and all its staff. To do this we will review the governance, planning and service delivery processes of NHS Shetland. It is a high level document that describes the principles and ethos of how we will work to mainstream and embed equality and diversity into all our work. It does not, nor is it intended to, describe in detail the work that is taking place within the Board across each equality strand. Our separate equality schemes for Race, Disability and Gender1 set 1 Our Race, Disability and Gender Equality Schemes are available on our website www.shb.scot.nhs.uk/

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    out specific action plans in relation to these areas and our Annual Equalities Monitoring Report details the progress made on each and also in the areas of sexual orientation, age and religion or belief. Our values The Board: Understands that diversity embraces cultures, faith (and no

    faith), disability, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and all the ways in which we differ as individuals.

    Recognises the diversity of our patients and client groups and its

    importance in improving their health and well-being.

    Uses our influence and resource to make a difference to the life,

    opportunities and health of our community, especially those that may be disadvantaged.

    Values the diversity of our staff by creating a great place to work

    that recognises and develops the contribution of everyone, at whatever level, in whatever role.

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    Our Patients: Our Leaders: Our Staff: Should expect nothing but the best

    Will be champions of diversity

    Recognise that diversity within the Board brings benefits to all

    Will receive culturally appropriate healthcare of the highest quality, with cognisance of their requirements and needs in its delivery

    Will create a workforce that is valued and which will reflect our ever changing community

    Appreciate the importance of living with the values of inclusiveness and openness by taking responsibility for own actions, underpinned by the principles contained within the Staff Governance Standard

    Will be partners with the Board in discussing from inception about how diversity and equality issues affect their health and healthcare

    Ensure that they and all our staff (including all contractor and third party deliverers of care) receive appropriate training and education on equality and diversity and how it impacts within specific areas/roles for staff

    Will undertake and understand how they as individuals, their teams, their departments all have a role to play in mainstreaming equality and diversity in all its forms and in its widest sense.

    Will be provided with information in the most understandable way and have the use of advocacy, interpretation and translation services.

    Embed diversity in all our activities and accountability arrangements

    Understand the need for co- operative working and mutual respect across the Board and with partner agencies

    Are appreciated for their feedback and complaints, as any learnings from these will be used to enhance/improve the quality of services provided

    Consult our staff, patients and partner agencies, including voluntary agencies, on diversity plans that support the delivery of an inclusive society

    Treat all with dignity and respect, expecting the same in return, knowing that they are empowered and will be supported in challenging any inappropriate behaviour.

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    Foreword We have great pleasure in publishing the Board’s first Single Equality Strategy to outline our longstanding commitment to ensuring that our services and employment practices are fair, accessible and appropriate for the diverse patient community we serve and the workforce we employ. We aim high to deliver excellence in all we do and recognise that the effective promotion and implementation of the Single Equality Strategy will play an essential part in helping to modernise the health service we provide. The Single Equality Strategy aims to: • Work with diverse voluntary, patient and other NHS and public

    bodies, along with the local community in the development, implementation, review and refinement of action plans to deliver improvements in our healthcare service

    • Create a working environment where all staff are treated with professionalism, dignity and respect and are able to deliver and develop to the best of their ability without having to face discrimination nor harassment

    • Meet the legislative and policy drivers incumbent upon the Board and ensure that equality and fairness are embedded in all areas of service deliver, planning and employment.

    This strategy explains how the Board plans to continue to meet its statutory duties to promote race, disability and gender equality. It will also act as a framework for compliance with other legislative and policy guidance outlawing discrimination on the grounds of age, belief or sexual orientation. The principles of equality and fair treatment for all are therefore to be the basis for every aspect of the Board’s business. Leadership and commitment at all levels are central to the success of the Strategy. As Chairman, Chief Executive, Employee Director and Director of Human Resources of NHS Shetland, it is our duty and that of the Board to implement this Strategy successfully.

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    This strategy is very much a living document and we seek and welcome the views of interested stakeholders as part of feedback and to influence its development over time. Betty Fullerton Sandra Laurenson Chairman Chief Executive Lynda Smith Lorraine Hall Employee Director Director of Human Resources

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    Introduction What is Equality and Diversity? Equality is about treating individuals fairly, supported by legislation designed to address unfair discrimination. Diversity is about the recognition and valuing of difference for the benefit of the organisation and the individual. Equality and diversity are not interchangeable, but are dependent. There is no equality of opportunity if difference is not recognised and valued. “Equality and diversity” has become the umbrella term for considering groups of people who do not enjoy equality of access or equality of opportunity. In the context of the NHS this is for health and health care services. Much of this has been the result of information and research, which has shown the extent of disadvantage and discrimination. As a result, specific understanding, support and interventions are required to ensure any individual is not disadvantaged in relation to others. The range of equality target groups has progressively increased, partly with increased knowledge of health outcomes and partly with greater recognition and representation of potentially disadvantaged groups. As a result this now includes everyone in society. This universality increases, rather than deceases, the importance of the equality and diversity agenda. What it means is that any people may be disadvantaged, in some way, in relation to achieving health and accessing health services. Clearly some people are more subject to disadvantage and discrimination than others. Some particular aspects and areas of disadvantage and discrimination are addressed by legislation. This includes the requirement to prepare Equality Schemes in relation to Race, Disability and Gender. This strategy addresses the wider context of seeking to ensure that all people are understood, respected and treated as individuals. If they have particular needs or preferences as a result of ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief, or life circumstances. Also, importantly, nobody should be labelled or categorised by their disability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age religion or belief or life circumstances.

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    Single Equality Strategy Principles The principles underpinning our Strategy are to:

    • Ensure that consideration of equality issues is the mainstream of policy and day-to-day practice across the Board;

    • Meet the current equality duties in respect of Race, Disability and Gender;

    • Provide a framework for a co-ordinated approach to meet our legal requirements with regard to Age, Religion or Belief and Sexual Orientation;

    • Integrate with the Board’s values especially the need to treat all people with respect;

    • Identify and address the Board’s policie


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