Equality and diversity

We live in a multi-cultural and extremely diverse community. This is reflected in the ethnic, religious and cultural mix of children and young people we see alongside their families and carers as well as the diverse backgrounds of our staff.

At Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) we are committed to making high quality healthcare available to all the communities we serve, both within the UK and abroad.

Equality Act 2010

This Act came into force in October 2010 and brings together existing legislation ensuring that all public organisations are consistent in their approach. There are three strands of the public sector equality duty to which we have to have due regard:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act;

  • advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;

  • foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

In addition, we have a duty to publish information, including information on the effect that policies and practices have had on employees, service users and others from protected groups.

This also includes details of how policies and practices will further the three aims of the general duty.

Protected groups covered by the Equality Act 2010 are:

  • age

  • disability (including learning disabilities)

  • gender re-assignment

  • marriage and Civil Partnership

  • pregnancy and maternity

  • race

  • religion or belief

  • sex

  • sexual orientation

The Act extends some protection to groups not previously covered and strengthens particular aspects of equality law. As a result, we have reviewed many of our policies and practices.

Download our information on patients and families (1.02 MB).

Equality information allows us to better understand the impact of our policies and practices may have on our patients, families and staff. It helps identify areas where we need to improve as well as examples of good practice.

We have also prepared and published specific and measurable equality objectives, setting out how progress towards these objectives should be measured.

To ensure that, as a public organisation, we are meeting all the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, we are using the NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS). This is a nationally developed series of outcomes against which we can measure our progress. 

Monitoring our progress

Two groups are responsible for monitoring progress towards our specific equality objectives and taking forward the Trust’s equality agenda:

The Family Equality and Diversity group concentrates on how we can meet the needs of all our patients and families. This may include translation services, making sure children and families have equal access to our services and providing culturally appropriate services.

In the past, the group has helped to improve accessible toilet facilities throughout the hospital site, made sure that signage is clear and comprehensible and supported improvement of our multi-faith facilities.

The group comprises one-third public and parent members and two-thirds staff members. The Vice Chair is a public member.

The Staff Equality and Diversity group looks at how we meet the needs of staff to ensure that everyone has equal access to employment, training opportunities and fair treatment at work. It also helps to ensure that GOSH develops, promotes and implements best practice with regard to all equality and diversity issues. It is responsible for identifying and monitoring actions to ensure GOSH meets its employment obligations under equality legislation.

The group supports staff via initiatives including the work of the Grow Network, a support group that aims to empower Black and minority ethnic staff to reach their full potential through the offer of education, training and development, and networking opportunities. 

GOSH is a positive about disabled people symbol user and the group is currently assisting in the implementation of a disability awareness e-learning package for front line staff such as receptionists.
The membership of the group is multidisciplinary and includes staff, managers and trade union representatives, some of whom have a specialist interest or area of expertise.

Equality Assessment

GOSH has a scheme to ensure all policies, strategies, guidelines, formal consultations, service improvements and business cases are developed and implemented in a fair and equitable manner, thereby meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.