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 successfully completed a national programme for good practice in the field of equality and diversity.
Representatives from the 26 trusts involved came together to celebrate the conclusion of a year-long programme that developed and promoted equality, diversity and human rights within the NHS.
In April 2010 the Trust was just 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 for 2010/2011 following a rigorous selection process.
This month sees the end of the programme and the NHS Employers organisation has recognised the achievements of the Trust in guiding public policy, supporting minority groups and promoting equality.
Professor Carol Baxter, head of equality and diversity for the NHS Employers said, “I am delighted that the trust has successfully completed the NHS Employers’ Equality and Diversity Partners programme for 2010/11. This programme supports trusts to embed good equality and diversity practice into their day to day business.
"This Trust has shown great leadership and innovation in this area over the past year. Not only working hard to promote good practice internally, but also at a regional and national level to share that good work with others. This is a credit to the board and the staff involved in this work at a time of considerable change for the NHS."
Having completed the programme the Trust has been given associate partner status and will be at the forefront of developing equality, diversity and human rights good practice both within the NHS and across the wider public sector.
As an associate partner the Trust will be called upon to help with a range of policy issues and consultations; and may also be asked to assist seminars, workshops or conferences held by NHS Employers.
Dawn Stephenson, director of corporate development and lead for equality and diversity in the Trust, said, "Being named as an equality and diversity associate 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 and we can make a big 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.
More information on the Trust’s commitment to supporting and promoting diversity and equality can be found on its website www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk