Equality, diversity and human rights
Welcome to our equality, diversity and human rights page.
At Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust we understand that in order to deliver services that are safe, of high quality and free from discrimination, patients and their carers have to be partners in the planning and delivery of their care or treatment plans. A big part of this is understanding you and your individual needs. Additionally, when planning our services we take every opportunity to ensure that the needs of patients, their careers and relatives can be met by the service and staff. This also helps to ensure the values of equality and diversity are embedded within our day-to-day running of our hospitals. These principles forms part of your rights which are written into legal and regulatory frameworks. These frameworks include:
Equality Act 2010
Human Rights Act 1998
The NHS Constitution
Care Quality Commission
Information for patients
We are always looking at ways to improve our service delivery. Below is information that could be useful for a range of issues.
Overseas and British Sign Language interpretation and translation
Professional interpreting and translation services are used to ensure that patients are able to fully interact with their care and treatment. Interpreters can be organised by contacting our Patient Advice and Liaison Service. For more information about the services we offer and how to arrange this please click here.
Arrangements for your appointment
If you have a concern that you need a reasonable adjustment or concerns about accessibility of a building that you are due to have an appointment in, please contact the department (as detailed on your appointment letter). If you do not have your appointment letter you can look at our service directory by clicking here or you can contact our Patient Advise and Liaison Service, details on how to contact them can be found here.
We use the ReciteMe tool to improve the accessibility for patients where they have sensory impairment, they have a learning disability or where English is not a first language. We have produced a manual which runs through the main features of the service which can be accessed by clicking here. You can access the service by clicking on the blue icon with an eye and ear at the bottom right hand side of our webpages. You can use ReciteMe to set your own preferences for future use.
Raising a concern or making a complaint
If you have a concern or a complaint that you would like to raise with the Trust, please click here for further details.
The Trust is currently reviewing its signage and wayfinding around our hospitals. We have launched new signage in Worthing Hospital which is colour coded and pictorial, we hope to roll out this type of signage for other hospitals within the Trust.
The legal and regulatory frameworks:
Equality Act 2010
The Act makes it unlawful to treat anyone unfairly or unfavourably because of their:
- disabilities (includes physical and mental health conditions)
- gender identity
- race (this includes colour, nationality or ethnic origin)
- sexual orientation
- marriage or civil partnership status
- pregnancy, maternity or paternity status
- religious or belief system
The Equality Act refers to these traits as the protected characteristics.
What this means in practice is that everyone who interacts with our hospitals must be treated with respect and dignity. They must also be able to access the service in a way that meets their individual needs and not to receive a service that is of a poorer standard because of a protected characteristic.
In some cases, to create a level playing field we sometimes have to treat people more favourably, this is particularly true in addressing disadvantages for disabled communities when accessing Trust services and buildings.
The Equality Act 2010 also creates new general duties (collectively known as the Public Sector Equality Duty) on the NHS when carrying out its functions to have active consideration (due regard) to:
- Eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not
- Fostering good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not
One way the Trust can demonstrate it is taking due regard to equality issues and the Public Sector Equality Duty, is the use of Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs). We use EIAs when drawing up policies or proposals that affect the delivery of services and the employment practices within the Trust. EIAs also are used to remind all involved in delivering services of the Trust’s determination to promote equality.
For more information about the Equality Act 2010:
- The legislation can be found here
- The Equality Act Code of Practice for services, public functions and associations can be found here
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission
Human Rights Act 1998
The Act provides a framework for public services that ensures those who interact with the services have their human rights protected. All laws passed in the UK from 1998 should also be compatible with the Act.
The Act was introduced as a way for human rights issues to be reviewed within the British court system, with a final course for resolving issues in the European Court of Human Rights. Prior to this, human rights issues would need to be referred to Europe, which could take an extended period of time before a decision was made.
- The Act is made up of a number of articles which helps to define the structure of the framework, the articles that are particularly relevant in a healthcare setting are:
- Right to life (Article 2)
- Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 3)
- Right to liberty and security (Article 5)
- Respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence, this also covers bodily dignity (Article 8)
- Freedom of thought, belief and religion (Article 9)
For more information about the Human Rights Act 1998:
The NHS Constitution
This document acts as a charter for patients and NHS staff, it aims to highlight values of the NHS in England and sets expectation on a wide range of issues including:
- Access to treatment and care
- Treatment and care that meet your individual requirements
- How you will be treated as an individual e.g. staff will respect your wishes and will not act in a discriminatory way toward you.
- What the NHS expects from its patients
The constitution is an overarching document that covers many issues in the legislative and regulatory frameworks.
The constitution forms the basis for our forthcoming Patient Charter.
If you would like more information about the NHS Constitution please click here.
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The CQC regulates all healthcare services in England. They provide oversight into the safety and quality of NHS services and can pass sanctions when services are falling below an expected standard.
The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 governs the work of the CQC, which forms the basis for the content of their inspection regime. When inspecting a hospital, they seek to answer 5 key questions and ask is the organisation:
To help them answer these questions they use a number of ‘key line of enquiries’ and fundamental standards which cover a range of issues including; the patient journey; safety and quality; management and governance arrangements.
If you would like to know more about the CQC and their inspection regime please click here.
For further information contact:
Organisational Development Manager
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Mobile: 07795 591399
Worthing Hospital: 01903 205111 extension 84025