NHS Birmingham and Solihull is committed to commissioning the very best care for the diverse population we serve, recognising that services need to be designed with equality, diversity and human rights at the core of business and decision-making.

We are committed to fulfilling our equality duties and obligations to reduce avoidable health inequalities in all aspects of our role and functions. We have a legal duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination and promoting equality of outcomes for our diverse population. We aim to do this by ensuring that the values underpinning equality, diversity and human rights are central to our policy making, service planning, employment practices and commissioning.

For our staff, we recognise and value difference and aim to create a working culture and practices that recognise, respect and value difference for the benefit of the organisation and the individual.

Our Equality Strategy, Objectives and Action Plan 2022-23 sets out our strategic priorities for improving outcomes and experience.

Our equality objectives are:

  1. Excellent people experience: Our workforce is our greatest resource. It is important that our organisation promotes an open, respectful, and transparent culture, where difference is valued, and everyone can be authentic at work.  An inclusive culture leads to better engagement, well-being, and reduced sickness.
  2. Widening representation: Widening representation is important not only because diverse teams make better decisions, deliver better results, and are better engaged but also reflect our communities, so that we better understand the experiences of our patients and local population. Having a focus on systems and processes is key to not only attracting but also retaining a diverse workforce and adopting practices which promote a sense of belonging.  An essential element of this objective is to ensure that those aspiring to leadership roles have access to diverse role models at a senior level.
  3. Collaboration with partners: Organisational change provides for greater opportunity to collaborate with partners to develop multi-agency strategies to effectively address issues that we face in common.  Through effective collaboration we can also take collective steps to improve social justice to create education. Employment, volunteering, and apprenticeship opportunities an widen participation in health and care for local communities, including areas of greater deprivation, for seldom heard groups and for people not in education, employment, or training.

NHS Birmingham and Solihull publishes its annual equality information in line with the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty.

NHS Birmingham and Solihull works to a number of statutory and policy drivers, which underpin the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda. The main pieces of legislation and policy drivers are set out below.

The Equality Act 2010 replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single act in October 2010. This single act has made equality laws simpler: easier for people to understand and comply with; removed inconsistencies; and strengthened protection in some situations.

The Act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. These characteristics refer to the groups of people who are specifically offered protection by the Equality Act. Every person has one or more of the protected characteristics, and so the Act protects everyone against unfair discrimination.

Protected characteristic Protection is afforded to:
Age

A person belonging to a particular age or age group. People of different ages including children, younger and older people.

Disability

People who have a disability or a physical or mental impairment and it has substantial and long term adverse effect on an individual’s ability to carry out normal daily living activities.

Gender reassignment

People who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) to reassign their sex by changing physiological or other physical attributes of sex.

Marriage and civil partnership

People who are married or in a civil partnership.

Pregnancy and maternity

Women who are having or have recently had a baby.

Race

People characterised by shared ethnicity, colour, nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.

Religion or belief

People with or without a religion or belief.

Sex

Men and women.

Sexual orientation

People whose sexual orientation is towards people of the same sex as themselves (gay or lesbian); people of the opposite sex (heterosexual); or people of both sexes (bisexual).

 

The Human Rights Act 1998 came into force in 2000. Everyone in the UK is protected under the Act. NHS Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board (ICB), as a public authority, is obliged by law to respect the basic human rights of all citizens. As a public body we must at all times act in a manner compatible with the rights protected in this Act and safeguard these for patients and staff in our care and employment.

Human Rights are underpinned by a set of common values and have been adopted by the NHS under the acronym FREDA.

The FREDA principles represent:

  • Fairness (e.g. fair and transparent grievance and complaints procedures)
  • Respect (e.g. respect for same sex couples, teenage parents, homeless)
  • Equality (e.g. not being denied treatment due to age, sex, race etc.)
  • Dignity (e.g. sufficient staff to change soiled sheets, help patient to eat/drink)
  • Autonomy (e.g. involving people in decisions about their treatment and care)

Consideration of Human Rights is also given in our Equality Analysis process, to ensure that our policies and strategies are compatible with the rights afforded by this Act.

The Act builds on the core principles and values of the NHS – a comprehensive service that is available to all, based on need and free at the point of use.

The Act charges the National Commissioning Board with an explicit duty to address inequalities in outcome and achieve fair and equitable access to health services.

NHS Birmingham and Solihull is committed to upholding the NHS Constitution which outlines a number of commitments and pledges to uphold patient dignity and human rights.

NHS Birmingham and Solihull has formally adopted the NHS Confederation’s LGBTQ+ Inclusion framework, demonstrating its commitment to improving outcomes for LGBTQ+ members of staff and patients.

This nationally-recognised framework provides health and care leaders with practical tools to create inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ staff and service users.

The framework is based on six core pillars of action which focus on leadership, knowledge and understanding, data, the voice of service users and partnership working to develop services with and for LGBTQ+ people.

The executive sponsor for monitoring progress towards embedding this framework is chief executive David Melbourne.

For further information please contact the Equality Diversity and Inclusion team, via email: nhsbsolicb.edi@nhs.net.

More information about the framework including a short summary version, is available here.

From 30th March 2024, ICBs with 250 or more staff will be required to publish their gender pay gap information.

Birmingham and Solihull ICB, has taken the decision to publish the gender pay gap information for 2023, alongside this we are publishing our disability and ethnicity pay gaps.

We have taken this step to publish our pay gaps information because we value our staff and the wider public and are working towards meeting our commitments to equity, equality, diversity and inclusion.

It is important to note that the gender pay gap differs from equal pay for equal work.

The gender pay gap information shows the difference in the average hourly rates of pay for men and women right across the organisation.

If you have any queries or would like any further information, please contact the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team via email: nhsbsolicb.edi@nhs.net.