The South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, has been nationally recognised for good practice in the field of equality and diversity.
The Trust is one of just three NHS organisations in Yorkshire and the Humber to be successfully appointed as an equality and diversity partner supported by NHS Employers. The Trust was announced as the only specialist mental health and learning disability organisation in the region to be appointed for 2010/2011.
Having achieved partner status the Trust will be at the forefront of developing equality, diversity and human rights good practice both within the NHS and across the wider public sector.
In total, just 26 NHS Trusts across the country have been selected as partners after a rigorous selection process.
Partner status is determined on an annual basis against a number of measurable indicators and the Trust was required to demonstrate how they have in place a robust equality and diversity work plan and support the work of NHS Employers equality and diversity team work plan.
The scrutiny panel that assessed the Trust’s submission said, "The information provided demonstrated the enormous commitment the Trust makes to embedding equality, diversity and human rights into the core of the organisation." The panel concluded they had been impressed with the evidence.
Dawn Stephenson, director of corporate development and lead for equality and diversity in the Trust, said, "Being named as an equality and diversity partner is something we are very proud of as we are committed to good practice in these areas. Our Trust is built on a commitment to be responsive and support the diverse needs of the communities we serve.
"Public authorities, like NHS Trusts, can make an enormous contribution to removing both attitudes and barriers to equal opportunities. We can do this by addressing the way we run our services and employ people, and also by using our influence in the wider community. As a partnership organisation this is very important to us and reflects the way we always aim to work closely with local people."
The Trust’s diversity strategy and other policies recognise that diversity and equality is core to the way it works and provides services and that as an organisation it must maximise people’s potential through valuing their diversity and treating them equally.
The Trust also acknowledges that people who come into contact with its services, or who work for it, are individuals and are not defined by one aspect of their lives, whether that is their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or any other categorisation.
More information on the Trust’s commitment to supporting and promoting diversity and equality can be found in the equality and diversity section of the Trust’s website.