Great Ormond Street Hospital is based in central London but sees children, young people and families from all over the UK and abroad. We recognise that the families who use our services and our members of staff come from many ethnic, religious, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and will vary in their health, experiences, beliefs, genders and sexualities.
We want every child and young person who comes to GOSH to fulfil their potential – we can only do this by acknowledging this diversity and adjusting our services to meet their needs. We also want to attract and retain the best people to work at GOSH to deliver this aim.
As a public sector organisation, GOSH is bound to meet the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2010, namely:
- 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.
We publish two reports each year, detailing how we meet these duties – these are available for download from the useful documents box on the right hand side of the page. Progress against our equality objectives (for staff and families) is also presented to Trust Board on an annual basis and published here too, along with information about our gender pay gap and progress towards meeting the Workforce Race Equality Standard.
Improving the experience of all children, young people and families at GOSH
We learn about how families experience GOSH through monitoring responses to the Friends and Family Test (FFT), enquiries to Pals and Complaints, as well as national and local surveys. With all of these methods, results are analysed by ethnicity, gender and additional need to identify any differences in experience.
The Family Equality and Diversity (FED) Group receive these reports and monitor actions taken to improve experience. This may include providing translation services for non-English speakers or 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, such as supporting development of a Shabbat Room for Jewish families and an improved Muslim Prayer Room.
Membership of FED includes a number of parent representatives as well as members of staff and meets every other month.
Improving the experience of all members of staff and volunteers
The experience of our staff and volunteers is just as important as families’ experience – we know that staff who feel valued work more effectively, provide safer patient care and feel able to raise concerns or suggest improvements.
Each year, all GOSH staff are offered the opportunity to take part in the NHS Staff Survey and responses are analysed by ethnicity and additional need, with the inclusion of sexual orientation in the coming survey. Our volunteers are surveyed separately to understand their experience in a similar way. Staff can also give feedback using the Friends and Family Test every quarter, as well as local surveys and inclusion events as needed.
In response to the survey results, where staff reported differences in experience depending on their ethnicity or sexual orientation, two new staff forums were convened in October 2018:
We are working on launching a women’s forum and a forum for staff with disabilities and long term health conditions in 2019.