At South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust we respect and value the diversity of our staff, patients, carers and visitors and we are committed to meeting the needs and expectations of the diverse communities we serve, providing high quality, safe care.

Equality Act (2010) - Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) replaces previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. The Act’s aim is to simplify the law, remove inconsistencies and make it easier for people to understand and comply with. It aims to strengthen the law to help tackle discrimination and inequality. The majority of the Act came into force on 1 October 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty came into force on 5 April 2011. The Equality Duty ensures that all Public Bodies play their part in making society fairer by tackling discrimination and providing equal opportunities for all.

The Equality Duty makes sure that public bodies consider the needs of all individuals in their day-to-day work. This includes in shaping policy, delivering services and in relation to their own employees. As a public body, the Trust is governed by the Equality Act 2010. The Act contains nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat someone unfairly:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment (whether or not someone is trans)
  • marriage or civil partnership (including same-gender marriage)
  • pregnancy and maternity/paternity
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sex or gender
  • sexual orientation

The Equality Duty asks us to think about how we can accommodate and support people who are disadvantaged or suffer inequality.

To do this, we:

  • Ensure we have the information available to us to understand the needs of our staff, patients, service users, carers and local population.
  • Continue to progress our Equality Objectives and aim to reduce and address inequalities
  • Monitor and evaluate who uses our services, seek patient and staff feedback and measure our outcomes, continually seeking improvement.
  • Learn from what we do – both when we do well and when we can improve

All our inclusion work and activities are monitored by the Trust’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group which meets bi monthly and reports to the Workforce Committee.

Our equality objectives

  • Equality Objective 1 - To improve services for patients who have access and communication needs by ensuring processes are in place to provide information in a variety of formats that meet the needs of patients and/or carer, in particular those with a disability, impairment or sensory loss.
  • Equality Objective 2 - To improve the development offer to staff in relation to equality diversity and inclusion.
  • Equality Objective 3 - Ensure that the Trust Senior Management Team actively leads and promotes Equality Diversity and Inclusion through role modelling of behaviours and empowering all staff to challenge bad behaviours at all levels.
  • Equality Objective 4 - To improve staff engagement and satisfaction rates using the staff survey and other data sources available to us.
  • Equality Objective 5 - Increase diversity across our workforce including at Executive Committee and Board level.

Training and support

Our Inclusion Team promote and provide training to a wide variety of audiences including staff, senior leaders, wards/ teams, community groups and patients. Topics include:

  • Embedding Equality and Inclusion (Inclusive Leadership)
  • Barriers to Equality and Unconscious Bias
  • The Role of Equality Law and Legislation
  • Civility
  • Allyship
  • Recognising and Responding to Prejudice
  • Introduction to Anti-Racist Practice
  • Reasonable Adjustments
  • Inclusive Language

Get in touch if you would like further information at

Contact details

If you have any suggestions on how we could work together, make improvements or offer feedback, please contact us.

You can email the inclusion team on or write to:

Equality Diversity and Inclusion Lead
Human Resources
Sunderland Royal Hospital
Kayll Road

Or call 0191 565 6256


Staff Networks

We have the following staff network at STSFT. If you are interested in joining please contact using the emails below:#

Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI), Talent Inclusion and Diversity Evaluation (TIDE) Report

In March 2021 STSFT became members of Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI). ENEI is the leading employer network promoting equality and inclusion in the workplace. Their role is to influence government, business and trade unions, campaigning for real practical change, working in partnership with members sharing best practice.

In August 2021 the Trust submitted the TIDE benchmarking evaluation which measures an organisation’s approach and progress on diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the following areas:

  • Your workforce
  • Strategy and plan
  • Leadership and accountability
  • Recruitment and attraction
  • Training and development
  • Other employment practices
  • Communication and engagement
  • Procurement

The Trust had been awarded the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) - Talent Inclusion and Diversity Evaluation (TIDE) Bronze Award


The Trust submitted the Stonewall Health Equality Index in 2021 for the first time. Our trust scored 16.5/200, which ranked us at 372nd. This was anticipated in our first year and we can use learning and support from Stonewall to take forward our inclusion work plans.

Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)

The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of ten specific measures (metrics) which enables NHS organisations to compare the workplace and career experiences of disabled and non-disabled staff. NHS organisations use the metrics data to develop and publish an action plan. Year on year comparison enables NHS organisations to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality. WDES 2022 Report and Action Plan.

Workforce Race Equality Standard

The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) requires NHS organisations to demonstrate progress against nine equality indicators. The report aims to show any differences in how white staff, and black and minority ethnic staff, are treated. This is to help the Trust take action where needed to address this. The aim of the WRES is to support the career development of black and minority ethnic staff and ensure the Trust workforce is representative of the communities it works in.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 set out a public authority's gender pay gap reporting duties, which form part of its public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010. The regulations require that employers, with 250 or more employees, publish their gender pay gap annually by 31st March.

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.