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Annual Workforce Equalities Report 2020-2021

As a publicly funded organisation, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (BHT) is required to publish information annually on how it has met the Public Sector Equality Duties (PSED) and taken steps to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity for people with protected characteristics and foster good relations between those who share protected characteristics and those who do not. This report provides assurance to the Trust Board and to the Public that the organisation is meeting its PSED obligations and continuing to promote an inclusive culture across the organisation. The report summarises our workforce equality, diversity and inclusion activity in 2020/21 alongside our PSED requirements and Equality Standard data.

Our workforce data demonstrates that in many characteristics, the profile of BHT staff is in keeping with the population of Buckinghamshire or other NHS organisations. Equality objectives for the Trust were published in 2019, and will be renewed in 2022.

The Trust has undertaken significant work this year to progress it’s equality commitments made in 2020 by our Executive Team. This has included Executive sponsorship or our staff networks and action plans and celebrating numerous ED&I engagement events such as Black History Month, Disability Month, International Women’s Day and PRIDE Month. Furthermore, significant work has began to review our people processes and policies to ensure parity of outcomes for colleagues who share protected characteristics and those who do not. The Trust trialled an innovative inclusive recruitment process this year to minimise opportunities for biased decisions which has been identified nationally as an example of best practice in inclusive recruitment, and shortlisted for a HSJ Award. New development packages have also been implemented to support managers to create a more inclusive working environment within their areas.

Our Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) 2021 data demonstrates that significant improvements have been made this year in relation to equal outcomes from disciplinary processes, and improvements have been achieved in our recruitment indicator for the fourth consecutive year. Our workforce ethnicity profile data demonstrates that more work is required to achieve equal progression pathways into senior leadership positions.

The recruitment ratio for disabled vs non-disabled applicants deteriorated this year, suggesting that disabled applicants were less likely to be appointed at interview compared to non-disabled applicants. A comprehensive action plan is in place to further reduce inequalities and promote an inclusive environment across the Trust. We are confident that the plan will help us to achieve significant improvements in the near future.