Equality and inclusion

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Who Are We?

We are The Inclusion Unit. We deliver unmatched expertise in steering public sector organisations to fulfil their legal and mandated equality obligations. Our multi-disciplinary team is committed to creating bespoke solutions that not only align with your organisation’s goals but also with national equality, diversity, and inclusion benchmarks. We pragmatically translate the Equality Act 2010’s requirements into tangible, actionable steps while specialising in risk mitigation, compliance assurance, and health inequality improvements.

Boasting a robust team of specialist EDI practitioners with wide-ranging experience in various sectors, including specific proficiencies in health and data analytics, we provide strategic insights that distinguish our services from others in the field. Our depth of knowledge and extensive experience equip us to offer strategic insights that are a hallmark of our unique position in the EDI landscape.

Why are we different?

We stand out as one of the country’s most extensive EDI teams, offering an unparalleled level of expertise and advice to our clients. By combining our collective experience, skills, and knowledge, we ensure that our clients benefit from the collective intellect and dynamic expertise of our large team.

Our distinctive position as health and data specialists provides strategic insights that foster effective decision-making. Our Multi-Service Delivery Model enables seamless integration with other services we offer, resulting in a comprehensive, customised solution for your needs.

We have provided support to a wide range of organisations, including:

– NHS England

– Integrated Care Boards and Systems across England

– Primary Care Networks and trusts

– Large charitable organisations

– Local government bodies

As industry leaders in enabling organisations to fulfil the Public Sector Equality Duty, we adeptly implement Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) methodologies at scale. Our experience spans numerous large public sector entities and multi-million-pound NHS transformation programmes.

What do we offer?

How can we help you with equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in your organisation?

  • We provide high-quality services that can help you meet your legal equality duties.
  • We can help you to demonstrate ‘due regard’ to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)
  • We can help you consider health inequalities in strategic planning
  • We can support you to embed a robust and pragmatic Equality Impact Assessment system that works for your organisation

Our services

Our multi-service delivery model enables us to tailor our services precisely to your organisation’s needs. We specialise in rapidly and efficiently identifying what your organisation requires and crafting a bespoke service that fulfils these specific demands. Below is a list of the services we offer. These can be combined or customised to meet your unique needs.

Data and insights

To deliver effective and inclusive services, organisations must understand the data and intelligence relating to their populations, including the diverse needs of the people within them.

One efficient method for organisations to deeply understand the diverse communities and their health needs across their areas is by accessing insights into protected characteristics and health inclusion groups. However, this process can be time-consuming, and analysing such intelligence to draw meaningful conclusions is challenging, particularly without specialist EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) insight.

Our team of expert data analysts specialises in accessing, compiling, and interpreting demographic data relevant to an organisation, providing insights into community needs, including health inequalities. This supports organisations in offering more effective public services that better meet the needs of their populations.

‘Due Regard’ transformation support

All organisations providing public services are subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). Implementing this within large-scale NHS transformation programs, which often entail significant service reconfiguration and financial investment, is complex and carries a high potential for judicial review, especially when the changes are controversial and high-profile—as is common with most NHS transformation programmes.

This type of work is highly specialised and requires a methodical approach to determine the necessary actions and timing. We can quickly become familiar with the aims of your transformation programme, often beginning with the development of a ‘position statement’ that assesses the programme’s current status in meeting equality law requirements. We then carefully identify the key deliverables and devise a plan to deliver these over time, aligning with the transformation programmes timeframes and priorities that we support.

Policy and strategy development

Effective policy and strategy are essential for advancing equality and enhancing outcomes for both patients and staff. Developing meaningful policies and strategies not only demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to the Public Sector Equality Duty but also ensures compliance with NHS England’s equality mandates.

Our EDI team excels in policy and strategy formulation and implementation. We adopt a practical yet innovative approach to create strategies aimed at improving outcomes and experiences and fostering inclusive cultures within organisations.

Our work enables organisations to effectively implement EDI strategies and take meaningful actions that improve outcomes for the workforce and patients alike. We also ensure that policies and strategies are inclusive and focused on reducing disparities in experiences or outcomes.

Our clinical policy support guarantees that clinical policies are non-discriminatory and uphold equal opportunities. This minimises the risk of legal challenges and ensures that inclusive decision-making practices are established across the responsible organisations.

Equality impact assessments process transformation

Organisations providing public services must adhere to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). Demonstrating ‘due regard’ for the PSED often involves conducting Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs). A robust EIA process is pivotal for inclusive decision-making and addressing health inequalities. If an organisation’s EIA framework is inadequate or misunderstood, our team can provide the necessary support to resolve these challenges.

Specialists from our Inclusion Unit will collaborate with organisational leads to delve into and rectify current issues. After pinpointing the problems, our team will conduct comprehensive day-long workshops to educate staff on effective EIA utilisation, benefiting the entire project lifecycle. In parallel, we will partner with department and governance leads to develop and promote a sustainable EIA system organisation-wide.

Core mandatory standards

Our service offering includes specialist expertise and assurance in meeting the legal and mandated equality standards required of all public service providers. Many organisations lack the internal resources or expertise necessary to fully adhere to the Public Sector Equality Duty’s three aims. Our core service provides customised expertise, advice, and support to integrate equality and inclusion into all areas of operation while addressing national EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) priorities.

To deliver this service, the Inclusion Team will immerse themselves within the organisation, collaborating with key leads to align with the organisational EDI goals and priorities. They offer strategic guidance on health inequalities, national and local issues, and demographic insights, engaging with system partners for a tailored approach. The team also actively promotes the service within the organisation to ensure that staff are aware of where to seek support for equality-related tasks, including equality impact assessments.

This service will provide you with the production of key reports which fulfil NHSE mandatory standards such as:

  • EDI annual report
  • Equality objectives
  • Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)
  • Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)
  • Gender pay gap report
  • Modern slavery statement
  • Equality delivery system
  • Accessible information standard

Inclusion training

Our training methodology is practical, interactive, and enjoyable. We have revolutionised traditional EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) training to deliver vibrant and captivating training packages suitable for any organisation. Our programmes are designed to be adaptable, meeting your organisation’s unique requirements. 

Our training offerings include:

– Unconscious bias

– Equality impact assessments

– Population health and health inequalities

– Invisible disabilities

– Cultural competency

– Inclusive recruitment and retention

For more detailed information on our training services, please refer to our training brochure

One of the main advantages of working within NHS NHS ML is the diverse workforce, which fosters different perspectives, experiences, knowledge, and skills. This also gives us a greater understanding of our clients’ real issues and the communities we serve.

Inclusion Training

We offer extensive inclusion training which is essential for organisations, especially public sector entities, that deliver sensitive services. Read more about our training offer: Inclusion Training.

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