Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality and Inclusion | Equality Reporting | Patient Equality and Inclusion | Staff Equality and Inclusion

The Trust’s mission is to improve health, health equity, wellbeing, and prosperity across local communities by providing person centred care in collaboration with our partners.

The embedding of equality and inclusion, and the value of diversity are golden threads running throughout Bridgewater’s mission, values, and objectives. High quality care that meets individual need and supports individual aspiration is at the heart of what we do.

The community the Trust serves has rich and increasing diversity, as has the workforce that provides the quality care we would all wish for ourselves and our loved ones.

Keeping pace with the changing needs of our local communities and the diversity of our workforce is vital to ensuring that in all that we do no one is discriminated against or treated unfairly as a result of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, ethnicity, culture or nationality, sex, or sexual orientation.

These protected characteristics are important as, along with personal lived experiences and beliefs, they make up the unique identity and differing needs of every individual who accesses Trust services or choses to work at Bridgewater.

The Equality Act 2010 (Public Sector Equality Duty) and Human Rights Act 1998 guide the Trust in its legal duties, specifically the legal duty to pay due regard to:

  • The elimination of discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other prohibited conduct.
  • The advancement of equality of opportunity, including taking steps to meet different needs, and recognising and taking steps to improve involvement where under-representation is identified.
  • To foster good relations between groups, including addressing misinformation and hate, and raising awareness of the positives of diversity.

To see how we work to meet our legal duties go to the Equality Reporting page on the Trust website.

More information on equality, diversity, and inclusion can be found on the Trust webpages at:

  • Staff equality and inclusion
  • Patient equality and inclusion
  • Armed forces community

View the Trust’s Communities Matter Strategy.

External accreditations

As a Trust we believe that it is important that our equality progress and plans are reviewed not just by ourselves but also by our staff networks (see our Staff Equality and Inclusion) and through external accreditation.

We are a proud to support the Disability Confident scheme and we are a recognised Disability Confident Leader.

This means we are committed to good practice in employing disabled people and we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for any post advertised, providing the applicant has indicated on the application that they have a disability in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.

The Trust promotes and supports the employment of people who use our services and is working hard through recruitment and the promotion of Trust opportunities such as apprenticeships to improve our employment offer for people with disabilities.

For more information on Trust employment opportunities go to our BCHFT Careers page.

We are also committed to supporting disabled people in the workplace and promoting disability confidence in the Trust, this includes making reasonable adjustments to support patient’s access and experience of Trust services.

The Trust was first awarded the Navajo Cheshire and Merseyside LGBT+ Charter Mark in 2018 in recognition of our work to ensure equality and inclusion for the diversity of gender identities and sexual orientation in patients accessing our services and working in our teams.

This commitment we have continued with regular review by the Navajo organisation who we are proud to work alongside for equality for our LGBT+ communities.

The Trust was awarded Defence Employer Recognition Scheme bronze level, and Veteran Aware accreditation in 2022/23.

We are proud to support the members of our armed forces community, both through our employment and progression opportunities and in the delivery of our health care services.

The Trust offers a guaranteed interview to all armed forces community members who indicate through NHS jobs that they are a community member who meet the essential criteria for a role.

Vacancies are also advertised through armed forces community job boards as we recognise that the NHS may not be an obvious career choice for some, but the skills and experiences they can bring to an inclusive and supportive workplace are invaluable and often unique.

All of our accreditations are supported by ongoing action plans for improvement.

These are led by the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group who through Trust governance structures are ultimately accountable to our Trust Board.

Contact Us

If you require any further information on equality, diversity and inclusion in Bridgewater, or information from these equality pages in other languages or formats, then please contact me at ruth.besford@nhs.net or contact me at 07919898475.

Ruth Besford – Equality and Inclusion Manager