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Equality and Diversity

Our Equality vision

We believe 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.

We are 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 we support our Directorates to put this vision into practice:

    Equality and 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 email:

    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.

    Western Trust Equality Action Plan and Disability Action Plan Local Actions 2018 – 2023

    This document outlines the Western Trust’s Local Actions 2018 – 2023, which are to be read in conjunction with the Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust’s:

    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.

    A regional consultation workshop was held in Belfast in January 2017. In addition to this, all 5 HSC Trusts and 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 center of excellence on this important issue.

  • Making Communication Accessible to All – A Guide for Health and Social Care Staff

    All Health and Social Care staff are committed to improving people’s health and social care and to make sure that people can understand the information they are given about their health and social care.

    This guide will assist you to make sure that people get the support with communication that they need, for example through having a British Sign Language (BSL) or Irish Sign Language (ISL) interpreter to advocate for them.

    Making Communication Accessible for All Guidance

  • Access to Health and Social Care Booklet - Different Languages

    Arriving in a different country can be an overwhelming experience. There is information which you might find useful available on the Health and Social Care Northern Ireland website.

  • Equality, Good Relations and Human Rights – A Training Manual for Staff

    Please click on the link below to view the Equality Training Manual which is designed as a resource to complement the equality training programme.

    Equality, Good Relations and Human Rights – A Training Manual for Staff

  • Good Relations Statement

    Click here for our Good Relations Statement in Easy Read format

    We are committed to the promotion of good relations amongst people of different religious belief, race or political opinion. During Good Relations week 2020, the 6 HSC Trusts engaged online with colleagues from the Community Relations Council, the Equality Commission and service users and carers, HSC staff and Trade Unions, local Council representatives, the Patient and Client Council, the Business Services Organisation, the Public Health Agency and representative organisations to-produce a consistent, clear and unequivocal statement for the HSC Sector to outline our pledge to promote good relations amongst everyone – our patients, service users, carers, visitors and staff.

    Consensus was reached on the following statement and this has since been approved by our respective Executive Teams. This will be prominently displayed throughout HSC facilities in Northern Ireland to remind everyone of this important commitment.

    Good Relations Statement graphic

    Working together we will promote good relations between people of different race, religion or political opinion.

    This means that we:

    • Will actively address and challenge racism and sectarianism in all its forms
    • Will treat each other fairly, with respect and dignity
    • Will make sure our spaces are shared, welcoming and safe

    We recognise that to give effect to this statement, it is important that it is supported by key meaningful actions to be taken forward collectively at both regional and local levels to ensure consistency of approach.

    We look forward to working with you to continue in our work to promote good relations and ensure that everyone is treated fairly with respect and dignity across all of our services and in all of our facilities.