We're passionate in our belief that everyone has the right to receive the same level of care, regardless of who they are or where they live.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust provides services which are inclusive of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Plus/ Queer (LGBT+/LGBTQ), disabled, Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and all service users with protected characteristics.

We value patient feedback and we strive to tailor our services to meet the needs of our service users in line with equality legislation and our Trust vision and values.

Equally, our workforce, which reflects the diverse population of our communities, will have equal opportunities for development. As a Trust we welcome diversity and look for self-motivated, enthusiastic people from all backgrounds who care about making a difference.

Our aims

We aim to:

  • celebrate and encourage the diversity of our workforce with regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or any other aspect of a person’s background
  • create a working environment where everyone feels included and appreciated for their work
  • promote and provide our training and employment opportunities
  • encourage creativeness and innovation, to ensure that each member of staff can give of their best and help us move forward with our equality, diversity and inclusion goals.

How to give feedback

If you have any suggestions on how we could further improve, please share them with us. You can email the inclusion team or write to:

Equality Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Human Resources

Sunderland Royal Hospital

Kayll Road



0191 565 6256

Events and activities

27th January 2020

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place each year on 27 January. Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide. We promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) – the international day on 27 January to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the millions of people killed under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Find out more at:  https://www.hmd.org.uk/news/we-launch-theme-holocaust-memorial-day-2019-torn-home/

7th February 2020

Time to Talk

Time To Talk Day brings the nation together to get talking and break the silence around mental health problems. Find out more at: https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/time-to-talk-day-2020/

1st – 29th February 2020

LGBT History Month

The overall aim of LGBT History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public.

This is done by:

  • Increasing the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) people, their history, lives and their experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational and other institutions, and the wider community;
  • Raising awareness and advancing education on matters affecting the LGBT community;
  • Working to make educational and other institutions safe spaces for all LGBT communities; and
  • Promoting the welfare of LGBT people, by ensuring that the education system recognises and enables LGBT people to achieve their full potential, so they contribute fully to society and lead fulfilled lives, thus benefiting society as a whole.

 Find out more at: https://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/2020-badge-and-faces-of-2020-unveiled/

8th March 2020

International Women’s Day

A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Find out more at: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

13th March 2020

No Smoking Day

Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).  Find out more at:   https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/no-smoking-day/

21st March 2020

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws".  In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a Programme of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination. On that occasion, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on 21 March, would be organized annually in all States.


The 2019 theme is ‘mitigating and countering rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies’.  Find out more at https://www.un.org/en/events/racialdiscriminationday/background.shtml

1-30 April 2020

Stress Awareness Month 

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April, since 1992.


During this annual thirty day period, health care professionals and health promotion experts across the country will join forces to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. Find out more at: http://www.stress.org.uk/national-stress-awareness-month-2018/

Sat 16th May - Fri 22nd May 2020


Mental Health Awareness Week

Founded in 2001, Mental Health Week is a UK event supported by the Mental Health Foundation. The aim of this week is to educate the public about mental health issues and to promote better mental health.  Find out more at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

21st May 2020

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.


The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20 October 2005:

1.Support sustainable systems of governance for culture

2.Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professionals

3.Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks

4.Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms Find out more at: https://www.un.org/en/events/culturaldiversityday/


1st June 2020

Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers are the largest ethnic minority community in the European Union with over 12 million people across the EU and some 300,000 in the UK. They are very marginalised and suffer extreme levels of prejudice and discrimination.


Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month was established in Britain in 2008 as a way of raising awareness of these communities and their contributions to society, and to offset negative stereotyping and prejudices. You can find further information and resources on the National Association of Teachers of Travellers website.

Past activities

Meet the Execs- NHS Rainbow Badge pledge (Staff only)

Following our Annual Members Meeting , we are delighted to launch the NHS Rainbow Badge across our new Trust.  This signals our support and commitment to people who identify as LGBT+ including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all other identities. 


Patient experience survey- Equality Diversity and inclusion

At South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust we need your help and opinions to develop our work to promote equality diversity and inclusion; which in reality means fairness for all. 

Inclusion is about every one of us, our staff, our patients, their friends and family, our communities and our partners. Making sure everyone is included is important to delivering excellent services and making sure that people feel that they are cared for.

For people using our services, addressing equality and inclusion can mean:

  • Ensuing information is in the right format for patients
  • Patient information is available in alternative languages
  • Patients that need communication support such as translation receive this
  • Access to services is inclusive of all people
  • Everyone who uses our services has the right to be treated with respect and dignity
  • Please find below the link to a patient and public survey. 

You can access the survey on the following link https://www.sli.do/ and enter the following event code: # G227.

We want to hear the views of local people from across South Tyneside and Sunderland about what is important to them about equality, diversity and inclusion and how the Trust can continue to meet needs and make improvements.  There are some equality monitoring questions that we ask within the survey.  These questions are all voluntary but if you complete these questions it will help the Trust understand how people from protected groups (Age, Gender, Disability etc.) feel about the Trust and if actions need to be addressed to support people.  If you feel that you don’t want to answer these question please choose prefer not to say. 

The closing date for the survey is 22nd September 2019.

Please could I ask you to share with your contacts and encourage people to take part in the survey.

Sunderland PRIDE

Staff from across the Trust attended Sunderland Pride on Sunday 29th September 2019.  Attending Pride marks a celebration of the Trusts commitment to LGBT+ and equality, diversity and inclusion.  Information on recruitment opportunities, self-care messages and signposting were available to all who attend. The event proved valuable to receive feedback from the LGBT+ community and LGBT+ allies on Trust services.

The Trust further demonstrated our commitment to inclusivity for staff and patients by flying the Rainbow Flags in the week running up to Sunderland Pride from the flag poles at Sunderland Royal Hospital and South Tyneside District Hospital sites. 

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Steering Group

The EDI Steering Group met for the first time in October 2019.  The purpose of the group is to provide proactive support, evidence-based feedback, guidance, assurance and governance for the Trust Board to ensure that the organisation is committed to EDI legislation and standards. The group will report the Trust’s progress on Equality Diversity and Inclusion to the Board; via the Workforce Committee and Patient, Carer and Public Experience Committee (PCPEC).

Accessible Information Standard (AIS)

The Trust held the first task and finish group to look at how we can collate all the areas of good work around the Accessible Information Standard for disabled patients and carers that access services from the Trust whether at the hospitals or in the community.

For more information see https://www.stsft.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/nhs-accessible-information-standard 

Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) requires all NHS organisations to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low levels of Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic (BAME) Board representation.

The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) is a means to try and ensure employees from BAME backgrounds have equal access to opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.

As part of our Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES) and statutory duties each year we produce a report analysing our staff make-up.

The WRES 2019 annual report was approved for publication by STFTs Workforce Committee on 13th August 2019.  The report and action plan will be implemented by the Equality Diversity and Inclusion Lead and monitored throughout the year.

The 2019 WRES Report is based on the results the 2018 Staff Survey and ESR data from 1 April 2018 - 31 March 2019. Because of this, the reports are based on data from STFT and CHSFT as two separate Trusts / pre-merger. However the action plan (Appendix 1) is presented as a single one for the new South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. 

Appendices 2 and 3 contain the two reporting templates (STFT and CHSFT) which will be submitted to NHS England. 

For further information visit the NHS England WRES webpage.

To view the videos, please click on the links below.

NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard

The Workforce Race Equality Standard - Why the NHS needs it

Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)

The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of ten specific measures (metrics) that enables NHS organisations to compare the experiences of Disabled and non-disabled staff.

The implementation of the WDES will enable us to better understand the experiences of disabled staff. It will support positive change for existing employees and enable a more inclusive environment for disabled people working in the NHS.

The WDES 2019 annual report was approved for publication by STFTs Workforce Committee on 13th August 2019.  The report and action plan will be implemented by the Equality Diversity and Inclusion Lead and monitored throughout the year. This is the first year the Trust have implemented the WDES, the findings will be used as a benchmark for improvement in coming years.

The 2019 WDES Report is based on the results the 2018 Staff Survey and ESR data from 1 April 2018 - 31 March 2019. Because of this, the reports are based on data from STFT and CHSFT as two separate Trusts / pre-merger. However the action plan (Appendix 1) is presented as a single one for the new South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. 

Appendices 2 and 3 contain the two reporting templates (STFT and CHSFT) which will be submitted to NHS England. 

Appendices 4 and 5 contain the two data submissions (STFT and CHSFT) which will also be submitted.

View further information about the NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES).

Disability Confident

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, which provides hospital and community services across the region, has been accredited as part of a national campaign to support disabled people into work.

Being awarded the Disability Confident standard demonstrates that South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has a positive attitude towards employing disabled people, and plays a leading role in changing attitudes towards disability.

As part of the scheme, the Trust has to commit to the following principles:

1. Actively looking to attract and recruit disabled people.
2. Providing a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process.
3. Offering an interview to disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for the job.
4. Flexible when assessing people so disabled job applicants have the best opportunity to demonstrate that they can do the job.
5. Proactively offering and making reasonable adjustments as required.
6. Encouraging our suppliers and partner firms to be Disability Confident.
7. Ensuring employees have sufficient disability equality awareness training.

The Trust is committed to supporting disabled staff by:

1. Promoting a culture of being Disability Confident.
2. Supporting employees to manage their disabilities or health conditions.
3. Ensuring there are no barriers to the development and progression of disabled staff.
4. Ensuring managers are aware of how they can support staff that are sick or absent from work.
5. Valuing and listening to feedback from disabled staff.
6. Reviewing this Disability Confident employer self-assessment regularly.


Our Chaplains offer support, advice and spiritual guidance to patients and their family, friends and carers.  Find out more about the service here: https://www.stsft.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/visiting-times-and-information/chaplaincy-services

Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs)

An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is a systematic and formal process which supports the Trust to comply with its general and specific public sector duty under the Equality Act 2010. EIAs allow us to assess the impact of an activity across all protected groups.

An EIA is a tool that helps us to improve the delivery of services to our communities by:

  • Ensuring that our services are free from discrimination
  • Ensuring that we identify and address service user needs
  • Improving transparency around the decisions we make

The EIA process involves looking at evidence (for example, service user data, consultation outcomes, community profiles), engaging with people, staff, service users and others and considering the effect of what we do on the whole community.

Equality Delivery System (EDS2)

The Equality Delivery System (EDS) was commissioned by the national Equality and Diversity Council and mandated by NHS England in 2015.  It is a system that helps NHS organisations improve the services they provide together with better working environments, free of discrimination, for those who work in the NHS.  It also meets the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. 

The main purpose of the EDS2 is for NHS organisations to review and improve their performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010 and to help deliver on the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).

Equality objectives

The purpose of the equality objectives are to help us make a real difference to some of the most pressing issues facing the protected groups that we provide services for and employ. They will also help us demonstrate how we are meeting our statutory duties.


Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 replaces previous anti-discrimination laws by introducing a single Act. The only previous equalities-related legislation that was not replaced by the Equality Act 2010 is the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Race and Religious Hatred Act 2008. The Act legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and the wider society such as patients and service users in care.

Under the Act it is illegal to discriminate someone because of the following. These are called ‘protected characteristics’:

  • Age
  • Being or becoming a transsexual person
  • Being married or in a civil partnership
  • Being pregnant or on maternity leave
  • Disability
  • Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • Religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

You are protected from discrimination in many circumstances. This includes when using public services such as the NHS and whilst at work.

The Equality Act 2010 requires NHS organisations to meet the following three aims and have ‘due regard’ to them. This is called the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED):

Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited under the Act

Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Foster good relations between persons who share relevant protected characteristics and persons who do not share it.

Having due regard means that consideration of equality issues must influence the decisions reached by NHS trusts, such as:

  • How they act as employers
  • How they develop, evaluate and review policy
  • How they design, deliver and evaluate services
  • How they commission and procure from others.
  • The specific equality duties.

To help public bodies perform PSEDs effectively, regulations introduced two specific duties. The duties mean that NHS organisations are required to:

  • Publish information to demonstrate compliance with the PSED at least annually starting from 31 January 2012
  • Prepare and publish equality objectives at least every four years starting from 6 April 2012
  • Publish advice, guidance and useful documents.

Public Sector Equality Duty:

The Public Sector Equality Duty consists of a General Equality Duty, which is set out in Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 and Specific Duties which are imposed by secondary legislation (The Equality Act gives ministers the power to impose specific duties on public bodies to enable them to perform the Equality Duty more effectively). 

General Equality Duty:

The General Duty came into effect on the 6th April 2011. The 3 aims of the equality duty are to have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by the Act.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. 
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
  • The General Equality Duty requires organisations to consider how they could positively contribute to the advancement of equality and good relations.  It requires equality considerations to be reflected into the design of policies and the delivery of services, including internal policies, and for these issues to be kept under review.

Specific Duties:

The Specific Duties came into force on 10 September 2011. The specific duties help public bodies perform the Equality Duty better. They do this by requiring public bodies to be transparent about how they are responding to the Equality Duty – requiring them to publish relevant, proportionate information showing compliance with the Equality Duty, and to set equality objectives.  The Government believes that public bodies should be accountable to their service users.  Publishing information about decision-making and the equality data which underpins those decisions will open public bodies up to informed public scrutiny.  It will give the public the information they need to challenge public bodies and hold them to account for their performance on equality.  Moreover, knowing that such information will be published will help to focus the minds of decision-makers on giving proper consideration to equality issues.

Public Sector Equality Duties:

Publish equality information on an annual basis.

Publish equality objectives at least every four years after first publication

Ensure objectives are specific and measurable, and set out how progress towards the objectives will be measured

Publish the objectives in a reasonably accessible format either as an individual document or as part of another report

Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 sets universal standards to ensure that a person’s basic needs as a human being are recognised and met.  Public authorities should have arrangements in place to ensure that they comply with the Human Rights Act 1998.
It is unlawful for a healthcare organisation to act in a way that is incompatible with the Act.  The Act urges public authorities to apply a human rights framework to decision making across public services in order to achieve better service provision.

Mental Health Act 2007

The Mental Health Act 2007 received Royal Assent on 19 July 2007.  It amends the Mental Health Act 1983, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004.

The main purpose of the 2007 Act is to amend the 1983 Act. It is also being used to introduce "deprivation of liberty safeguards" through amending the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA); and to extend the rights of victims by amending the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004.

Interpreting and translation services

If English is not your first language, or you have a disability which affects your ability to communicate, we can arrange for an interpreter to support you.

If you require interpreting services, please contact the service where you are being treated as soon as possible after you receive details of your appointment so that we can make the necessary arrangements.  

Depending on your specific needs, we will provide interpreting in one of the following ways, using authorised and contracted service providers to ensure quality:

  • Telephone based access
  • Face to face spoken language interpreting services
  • British Sign Language (BSL)
  • Hands-on communication using the Deafblind manual
  • Translation of documentation from English to a chosen language

Please note that we can only provide interpreting services for patients receiving treatment on the NHS.  If you are a private or overseas patient, you need to arrange and fund interpreting through your embassy.


Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting, during which time Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Ramadan begins on a particular day which may be different each year, and ends approximately 30 days later.

The starting and ending dates depends on the new moon sighting. The fasting hours increase to around 17 hours as days get longer at the later part of the month. 

Muslim adults are required to fast from dawn to sunset, but those in poor health or who have deteriorating health, the very elderly and mothers who are breastfeeding are exempt from doing so.

People who suffer from any chronic illness or health complication are advised to speak to their GP to see if they can safely fast during Ramadan. If fasting is not recommended by the GP, residents should speak to their local Imam. Imam can then advise them that there are ways they may be able to get the same reward as fasting.

Support for Muslim patients

Staff are asked to show their usual consideration and sensitivity towards colleagues and patients who wish to observe the fast. This may mean making certain practical arrangements on the wards, especially with regard to mealtimes and medication. Those fasting need a meal before the break of dawn and another after sunset. Breaking the fast with dates and/or other sweet food and water before a meal is the usual practice.


During Ramadan, Muslims are also likely to want to spend more time in prayer, reading the Qu’ran, observing times of quiet and special rituals. For the purpose of prayer, water is required for ritual ablution. Facilities needed for patients include water for cleanliness, individual prayer mats and some quiet recesses, even at their bedsides. 


The end of Ramadan is marked by the celebration of 'Id-ul-Fitr. This is one of the most important occasions in the Muslim religious calendar and begins with a compulsory congregational prayer in a mosque or other suitable place. It is also a great social and family occasion, and some patients and staff may wish to have time away from the hospitals in order to reflect more.

Equality Strategy

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust is currently under development.

A patient and staff engagement survey was undertaken throughout September and October 2019.  The feedback from the survey and engagement activities will inform the development of the Strategy which will be launched in early 2020.

Modern Slavery Act 2015 Section 54 - Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

The Trust aims to follow good practice and take all reasonable steps to prevent slavery and human trafficking. We are committed to ensuring that all of our employees are aware of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and their safeguarding duty to protect and prevent any further harm and abuse when it is identified or suspected that the individual may be or is at risk of modern slavery/human trafficking

We are committed to ensuring that no modern slavery or human trafficking takes place in any part of our business or our Supply chain. This statement sets out actions taken by the Trust to understand all potential modern slavery and human trafficking risks and to implement effective systems and controls.  Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires all organisations to set out the steps the organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains, and in any part of its own business.

Further resources

EDI Annual Report 19/20

Inclusion Conference Summary Report

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

NHS England-Equality, diversity and health inequalities hub


NHS Employers

Improvement & Development Agency

Equality Act 2010: Guidance
Equality Act 2010 Guidance for Employers, workers, Service providers and Service users

Human rights and public law
Human rights and public law (1 Crown Office Row)

Carers Trust -  https://www.carers.org/ 
The Carers Trust provides health and social care professionals with trusted information and best practice as part of their work with carers

Carers UK - http://www.carersuk.org/ 
Carers UK campaign to protect and extend the rights of carers. They provide practical advice and support to carers.