Equality and diversity
NHS Highland’s view of equality is about what we can do to create a fairer society and recognises that:
- Equality is an issue for us all
- We don't all start from the same place
- To create a fairer society we need to recognise different needs
We will focus effort where improvement is most needed to tackle inequalities within and between communities. This may include focusing on the particular needs of people who are disadvantaged or discriminated against because of who they are, their protected characteristic, for example: age, disability, race, gender or transgender, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 became law on 1 October 2010 and replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. It simplified the law into a single source and ensures that everyone who is protected under law from discrimination, harassment or victimisation is afforded the same level of protection.
NHS Highland as a public body is required to ensure that equality and diversity are embedded into all our functions and activities in line with the Equality Act 2010.
The Equality Act 2010 also introduced a new public sector equality duty (also known as the general equality duty).
This requires Scottish public authorities to pay 'due regard' to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, victimisation, harassment or other unlawful conduct that is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010;
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not; and
- Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not
Protected characteristics are: age; disability; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion and belief; sex and sexual orientation; and marriage and civil partnership (only in relation to the requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination).
Specific Duties for Scotland require NHS Highland to publish a range of equality information.
Equality Impact Assessments
The Equality Impact Assessments can be found on the EQIA summaries page.
Resources for staff
There are lots of resources available to support staff to embed equality throughout NHS Highland, helping to ensure that our services are accessible to everyone. Here are a couple:
LGBT Helpline Scotland
Information and emotional support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families, friends and supporters across Scotland.
Open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 12-9pm. 0300 123 2523 / firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.lgbthealth.org.uk/helpline