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University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) is a large acute Trust providing a multiplicity of services to the communities living in Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire, with some specialist services for those from a wider catchment.

The NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS) helps NHS organisations provide better services for their local communities and better working environments, free of discrimination, while meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. Many NHS services struggle to perform well for the diverse range of people they serve.

What was the problem?

UHBW became increasingly aware that they did not deliver services to their broad range of communities, and especially for those with protected characteristics, in ways that were welcoming, respectful and inclusive.  

How did PHAST help?

PHAST carried out a baseline review of for UHBW in relation to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) for staff, patients and communities to establish how well UHBW’s people, processes, systems, structures, and organisational culture support the Trust in:

⧫ Advancing equality for patients and communities.

⧫ Providing accessible and inclusive services for patients. 

⧫ Tackling health inequalities. 

An expert team drawn from professionals, each with strong and long experience in their field was assembled. They used four key methods to explore the Trust’s EDI issues:

  1. Interviews with senior people across the Trust, including a number of clinicians.
  2. A sizeable staff survey which encouraged people to share their thoughts in their own words.
  3. A rigorous data and compliance review to forensically assess how well EDI was stitched into the fabric of Trust systems and processes.
  4. Epidemiological analysis of the communities served with detailed information on the burden of diseases.

The four strands of inquiry were brought together in a report setting out key findings from which three specific recommendations were made:

⧫ Develop a single comprehensive strategy for EDI covering staff, patients and the wider communities.

⧫ Further develop the Trust training offer on EDI and use it for all staff to build greater awareness. This was linked to a proposal to invite teams within the Trust to tackle a specific EDI concern that they had, with senior support and peer learning sets.

⧫ Develop a culture of EDI intelligence, allowing greater use of robust data to understand and guide EDI performance.

What was the impact?

UHBW has a concrete plan to develop a strategy as advised. Their EDI training offer has been reviewed and is being reshaped with input from a wide range of people, including staff and patients.

The teams who came forward to address a problem they had noted have formed a successful wellspring within the Trust to inspire others. Their work has been presented at Board level, where it was received with enthusiasm at the strides that each had taken with their chosen challenge.

PHAST believes that this approach is a model for helping other Trust to review their EDI status against national standards and to take steps to improve their performance.



For more information about our work or if you would like to speak to a member of the PHAST Team contact us.

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