Progress and achievements so far
The equality governance framework serves to not only ensure that CoCH remains compliant with legislation and that equality issues are considered as part of mainstream functions but that improvements are made and innovations realised in partnership with equality and health inequality stakeholder groups.
Summary of key equality achievements:
- Set in place new systems and reasonable adjustments to meet the Accessible Information Standard for Health and Social Care (AIS) before mandatory implementation date of 31st July 2016.
- CoCH achieved 24th in its first entry to the Top50 Inclusive Employers list in 2018 and again was promoted 4 places to 20th in Top50 in 2019.
- NHS Equality Delivery System 2 (EDS2) rating in 2019 scored the Trust at Achieving status across fourteen of the eighteen EDS2 outcomes, the remaining four being rated as Excelling following assessment by stakeholder groups from the protected characteristics and Health Watch. Successfully awarded Partner Alumni status in 2017, after completing the NHS Employers Diversity and Inclusion Partners programme in 2016 to 2017.
- Facilitated forum and consultation events to for Staff who are disabled or have a long term condition, in preparation for the NHS England Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) launch in August 2019.
- Retained the Navajo Charter Mark in May 2017 for commitments to Staff and Patients who identify as Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Trans and Intersexed, which stands for the period 2017-2019.
- Attained Disability Confident Employer Status accreditation for policies, support and development opportunities for disabled employees.
- Co-facilitated multi-agency health and wellbeing forums with stakeholder groups representing the protected characteristics, including an event for people with mental health problems and those who face economic and health inequalities.
- Stakeholders from across the protected characteristics are involved in all equality groups, the equality governance framework and joint working initiatives.
- Co-facilitated events in partnership with statutory and 3rd sector organisations e.g. Trans Awareness Week, One World Week, Carers Week, National Vegan Month and Chester LGBT Pride.
- Enhanced the governance and accessibility of the Health Passport and Reasonable Adjustments for disabled people and Carers.
- In November 2017, the Equality & Diversity Manager won the National Diversity Champion Award for the Public Sector, at the annual national Excellence In Diversity Awards (EIDA).
- Published its first WDES report in 2019.
- In 2019, Increased trust wide equality training for staff on young onset dementia, Deafness Awareness, Refugee Awareness, Trans training, and LGBT Dementia.
- Countess of Chester Hospital hosted its first national Equality Event in partnership with Top50 most inclusive employers.
- Committed in 2019 at Board level to join the NHS Rainbow Badge Scheme due to launch February 2020.
- In 2019, Attended Chester Pride for the 6th Year running in the Pride Parade, as well as holding the first Countess of Chester Information, careers and engagement stall.
- In 2019 Facilitated the first Equality Training Sessions for year 10 Work Experience Students as part of Work Experience week.
- In 2019, launched NCFE training in subjects of Equality and Diversity, Autism, Dementia, and Learning Disabilities.
- In late 2019, set up its first neurodiversity staff group following hosting neurodiversity session in the trust.
- Increased and developed the amount of Equality and Diversity Champions at the trust.
- Launched 2019 virtual equality staff networks and face to face BAME staff network.