Equality, diversity and inclusion

Delivering fully inclusive mental health, learning disabilities and neurodiversity services for our local community sits at the centre of the work we do as an organisation. We are continually growing our culture of compassion and inclusion across the Trust. 

People are at the heart of all we do, whether that’s people using or working within our services. We understand the crucial importance of tackling discrimination and health inequalities and proactively drive progress forwards to address barriers in access, experience and outcomes. 

Our ambition is to create accessible and supportive environments where everyone feels they are treated holistically, with dignity and respect as their authentic, whole self. We aim to have a workforce that represents our population. In order to achieve our ambition we work in partnership with our colleagues across the Devon system, people using our services, their families and carers and other local communities and charities. In this way we ensure a diverse range of voices and experiences are used to shape our organisation to meet the needs of anyone who may need us, or would like to work at our Trust.

We are committed to taking action in tackling discrimination ensuring that all people in contact with us feel safe and are protected from any form of abuse, victimisation or harassment. We expect our staff to be upstanding bystanders and to challenge discrimination. We are continuing to take action in order to support their confidence and ability to do this for we can only be a truly anti-discrimination organisation if everyone feels empowered to act.

As a large ‘Anchor Organisation’ for Devon, we are taking active steps towards the anchor aims which include:  
  • Widening access to quality work
  • Purchasing for social benefit
  • Using buildings and spaces to support communities
  • Reducing our environmental impact
  • Working closely with communities and local partners including other Anchor Organisations to help address local priorities and inequalities
We have, in partnership with the Purpose Health and Social Care Coalition, completed an Impact Report which shows our progress as a Health Anchor against the anchor aims and aligned purpose goals:
A graphic showing the anchor aims and aligned purpose goalsOur current Trust strategy for 2022 – 2025 includes the strategic aim to ‘promote social justice and tackle discrimination’. Within this strategic aim are five key objectives:
  1. Promote inclusive and diverse leadership across our organisation
  2. Improve access to care and treatment
  3. Support staff to challenge discrimination and promote equality, diversity and inclusion
  4. Use population data to ensure services address inequality
  5. Deliver and commission care appropriate for the individual based on their cultural identity

We are delivering specific actions within each of these objectives in 2024 and we will develop and enhance our approach based on the outcomes of these actions during the life of this strategy and beyond. The specific actions set against the 2022 – 2025 Strategic Objectives can be found on our Equality Reports page here in the Social Justice and Tackling Discrimination Work Plan presentation.

Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act making it easier to understand and strengthened the law to help tackle discrimination and inequality. The Act identifies nine protected characteristics which it is against the law to discriminate against, these are: 
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
Public Sector Equality Duty
As a public sector specialist mental health, learning disability and neurodiversity service provider, we must comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (S149) within the Equality Act (2010), which requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to: 
(a) eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
(b) advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
(c) foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
We have a number of statutory and mandatory obligations which we are required to report on annually. The reports can be found here 


Staff Networks
We have seven well established staff networks which see staff come together in safe and welcoming peer led spaces. Our networks provide insight and guidance which assist in driving forward meaningful improvements in culture and experience.  
Key Achievements
We know our journey is ongoing in creating a culture of belonging and inclusion and we have taken a number of steps to advance equality, diversity and inclusion in recent years. Some of our achievements during this time have been highlighted below:
  • Established our seven peer-led staff networks
  • Robust Service Level Agreement (SLA) framework for translation and interpretation provision
  • Connected with local Academies to host Supported Internship placements
  • Achieved Disability Confident Leader status 
  • Creation of a Menopause Wellbeing Policy and development of in-house menopause awareness training for staff with facilitators trained by menopause specialist Henpicked
  • Signed up to the Race Equality Code and achieved our Quality Mark, with progress being made against identified actions in 2024
  • Launch of the Health Inequalities Data Working Group 
  • Estates accessibility audits undertaken across a number of key sites, with improvements works being undertaken by priority 
  • Creation of a Trust Zero Tolerance Policy and Staff Reasonable Adjustments Policy
  • Completion of the Diversity and Inclusion Partner programme with NHS Employers
  • Visibility at local events across Devon such as the RESPECT Festival and Pride
Should you have any questions or queries about Equality, Diversion and Inclusion within our organisation please email dpn-tr.equality@nhs.net. Thank you.