Equality and Involvement

 

Our Equality vision

 

The Western Health and Social Care Trust believes that everyone should have equal access to health and social care services.  People can experience inequalities because of various factors for example sex, race, physical and/or mental abilities, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, political opinion, social class or if they live in a rural area. These can, in turn, lead to differences that exist in people’s health.

 

The Trust is committed to tackling these inequalities and this is the responsibility of all our staff. We need to ensure that everyone who works for us or uses our services is treated fairly. We recognise that staff should be provided with the necessary support they need to carry out these duties.

 

 

Putting our vision into action

 

There are a number of ways in which the Trust supports its Directorates to put this vision into practice:

  • Equality & Involvement Team. The Trust has an Equality and  Involvement Team providing ongoing support and training etc to staff on Equality, Human Rights and Diversity.  The Team works closely with local community and voluntary groups.  To contact the Team click here
  • Western Trust Equality and Human Rights Forum. The Forum provides leadership and direction across the Trust to ensure that the Trust fully complies with its statutory obligations. The Forum also monitors compliance and progress in all areas of the Trust's Equality Scheme. Click here for Terms of Reference and membership.
  • Disability Steering Group. The main purpose of this group, which includes representatives from Disability Groups, is to consider issues of access to services and information, relating to people with disabilities and to develop appropriate actions.  The group also monitors progress in carrying out the goals of the Trust’s Disability Action Plan.  Click here for Terms of Reference and membership.

 

Meeting our Statutory Requirements

  • Equality Scheme: The Equality Scheme specifies how the Trust plans to meet the duties under Section 75 (NI Act 1998).  The Trust's 2018-2023 Equality Scheme is available here.
The HSC Trusts have revised their Audit of Inequalities document which has helped identify the inequalities to be addressed in the Regional Action Plans and our Local Action Plan, view our Audit of Inequalities. The Local Action Plan sets out the actions that the Western Trust plans to take to promote our Section 75 equality duties, as well as how the Trust proposes to fulfil the ‘Disability Duties’ – to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people; and encourage participation by disabled people in public life – in relation to its functions.
 
The Western Trust Local Actions were developed as a result of the Trust’s Pre-Consultation event held on 20 January 2017.

A regional consultation workshop was also held in Belfast in January 2017.  In addition to this, all 5 HSC Trustsand the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Trust consulted collaboratively with an extensive range of stakeholders on the regional Equality Action Plan and Disability Action Plan and their respective Local Plans/Actions.

 
  • Consultation Outcome Report: Equality and Disability Action Plans 2018 – 2023: The Equality and Disability Action Plans were issued for a 13 week formal consultation period from 7 August 2017 to 7 November 2017. The responses and feedback received have helped inform and shape the final Plans and the influence of stakeholder engagement and input has been reflected in this report. The Consultation Outcome Report is also available in Easy Read format.
  • Equality Screening: Within the Trust Equality Scheme, the Trust gives a commitment to apply equality screening processes to all new and revised policies/proposals and, where necessary, to subject new policies/proposals to a full equality impact assessment. Please click here for the Trust Equality Screening Reports.

 

Monitoring our progress

Each year the Trust submits an Equality Progress Report to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).  Copies of these can be downloaded by clicking here.

  

Working with Others

 

The Trust is committed to working in partnership with local, regional and national stakeholders to promote equality and diversity. We continue to strive to become a centre of excellence on this important issue.