Equality and diversity

COVID-19 interpretation services

BSL Health Access delivers immediate, on demand access to British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for communication with deaf people in health settings free of charge to patients and service providers during the current coronavirus.

Public sector equality duty compliance

Setting and publishing equality information is part of NHS Kernow's compliance with the Equality Act (2010) and the demonstration of meeting the Public Sector Equality Duty. Read our equality information report (PDF, 1MB)

NHS Kernow's overarching equality objectives are as follows:

  • Changes across services are informed by engagement of patients, professionals and local communities, and transitions are made smoothly
  • Embed the principles of the Accessible Information Standard 2015 (section 250 of Health and Social Care Act 2010)
  • Staff receive equal pay for work of equal value
  • Staff are free from abuse, harassment, bullying, violence from both patients and their relatives and colleagues with redress being available and fair for all

Equal opportunities employer

NHS Kernow is an equal opportunities employer. This means we are committed not to discriminate against any employee or job applicant because of any protected characteristic.

NHS Kernow is a:

We believe in a workplace which is truly equal and strive to make this the most fair and equitable workplace for all. We believe that people perform better when they can be themselves; a more diverse workforce makes better decisions; and happier employees means better outcomes for patients.

Through monitoring data, we strive to know whether it is:

  • Recruiting employees who may be disadvantaged or under-represented
  • Broadly representative of our local population
  • Promoting people fairly, whatever their background
  • Checking that men and women’s pay is comparable
  • Making progress towards the aims set out in our equality work

We also strive to ensure our policies are inclusive. We use equality impact assessments and comprehensive impact assessments to ensure that we understand the impact of policies on our colleagues and members of the public. 

Disability Confident employer

Disability Confident logo

Disability Confident is a scheme that is designed to help organisations recruit and retain disabled people and people with health conditions for their skills and talent.

By being disability confident, we aim to help people fulfil their potential, help to positively change attitudes, behaviours and cultures. 

Disability Confident helps businesses:

  • Challenge attitudes towards disability
  • Increase understanding of disability
  • Remove barriers to disabled people and those with long-term health conditions
  • Ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations
  • Draw from the widest possible pool of talent
  • Secure and retain high quality staff who are skilled, loyal and hard working
  • Save time and money on the costs of recruitment and training by reducing staff turnover
  • Keep valuable skills and experience
  • Reduce the levels and costs of sickness absences
  • Improve employee morale and commitment by demonstrating that they treat all employees fairly

 NHS Kernow signs up to the commitments of the Disability Confident scheme, which are:

  • Inclusive and accessible recruitment
  • Communicating vacancies
  • Offering an interview to disabled people
  • Providing reasonable adjustments
  • Supporting existing employees

Mindful Employer

Mindful -employer -logo

NHS Kernow has signed up to the Mindful Employer initiative, which is run by Workways, a service of NHS Devon Partnership NHS Trust. This is a long term pledge and with the right support, people with mental health issues can and do stay in work and can be a real asset to our business.

The charter for employers who are positive about mental health is a voluntary agreement seeking to support employers in working within the spirit of its positive approach. 

As an employer we have made an ongoing commitment to:

  • Provide non-judgemental and pro-active support to individual staff who experience mental ill health
  • Not make assumptions that a person with a mental health condition will be more vulnerable to workplace stress or take more time off than any other employee or job applicant
  • Show a positive and enabling attitude to all employees and job applicants with a mental health condition. This will include positive statements in local recruitment literature
  • Ensure all line managers have access to information and training about managing mental health in the workplace
  • Ensure that all staff involved in recruitment and selection are briefed on mental health conditions and the Equality Act 2010, and given appropriate interview skills. Make it clear in any recruitment or occupational health check that people who have experienced mental ill health will not be discriminated against and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment

Out prejudice, celebrate diversity

Stonewall Logo

NHS Kernow has signed up to become a Stonewall diversity champion. The diversity champions programme is the leading employers' programme for ensuring all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) colleagues are accepted without exception in the workplace. We share Stonewall’s core belief in the power of a workplace that is truly equal. Stonewall is helping to create inclusive and accepting workplace environments.

We are committed to LGBT inclusion and using the lessons learned from the Stonewall diversity programme and applying them to other protected characteristics.

Gender pay gap 

All employers with 250 or more employees (we have around 270 employees) are now required to publish annually figures setting out the average pay gap between men and women as a mean (average hourly basis) and median (hourly pay average of the person ‘in the middle’).


Workforce Race Equality Standard

The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) aims to highlight differences between the experience and treatment of White staff and BME staff in the NHS, with a view to closing the experience gap in those metrics. Implementing the Workforce Race Equality Standard is a requirement for NHS commissioners and NHS healthcare providers. Read our WRES summary report (PDF, 582kb) and WRES action plan (PDF, 235kb).