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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 harmonised and replaced previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995) with a single Act. The Act simplified the law, removed inconsistencies and strengthened the law to help tackle discrimination and inequality.

The Act covers 9 protected characteristics (See Definitions)







Gender reassignment


Marriage and civil partnership


Pregnancy and maternity






Religion and beliefs



Sexual orientation







The Act protects everyone against unfair treatment because every person has one or more of the protected characteristics.

The Act makes it unlawful to directly or indirectly discriminate based on one or more of the nine characteristics, and provides protection in terms of harassment, victimisation, perceptive or associative discrimination. See Definitions

Public Sector Equality Duty

There are two parts to The Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • General and

  • Specific

General Duties came into force on 5th April 2011 as part of the Equality Act 2010 (Section 149) and Specific Duties came into force on 10th September 2011. 

The Equality Duty ensures that all public bodies play their part in making society fairer by tackling discrimination and providing equality of opportunity for all. Public bodies include central and local government, schools, fire service, police as well as the NHS.

General Duties

The General Duty requires all public bodies, in exercising their functions, to have due regard to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act.

  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

  • Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.

These are often referred to as the three aims of the general equality duty. The functions of a public body include all of their powers and duties. Examples of this include: policy decisions, budgetary decisions, public appointments, service provision, statutory discretion, individual decisions, employing staff and procurement of goods or services.

The Equality Act explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics. 

  • Taking steps to meet the needs of people with certain protected characteristics where these are different from the needs of other people.

  • Encouraging people with certain protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.

It states that meeting different needs involves taking steps to take account of disabled people's disabilities. It describes fostering good relations as tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups.

Specific Duties

Public bodies are required to be transparent about how they are responding to the Equality Duty.

The specific duties requires Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust (WHCT) and other public bodies to publish relevant and proportionate Equality Information showing compliance with the Equality Duty and set Equality Objectives, in relation to information about employees, policies and services. This is done to make the Trust accountable to the communities we serve.

Equality Information, must be published at intervals of not greater than one year beginning with the date of last publication.


are to be published at intervals of not greater than four years beginning with the date of last publication.

WHCT has developed its Equality Objectives in partnership with our Health Economy partners based on available equality information, through research, consultation and Equality Analysis. Our Equality Objectives identify service and employee targets that will enable WHCT to improve the collection of equality information and address the most persistent areas of inequalities faced by employees, patients, carers and communities.  

Useful Documents


Further Information


For more information about the Equality Act 2010 and what WHCT is doing to implement its guidelines please contact .

Patrick McCloskey
Equality & Inclusion Practitioner
Worcestershire Health and Care Trust
Isaac Maddox House
Shrub Hill Road

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