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The term ‘equality and diversity’ has been used in the NHS for a number of years, however more recently we are now also including the term ‘inclusion’. 

What does inclusion mean? And is it another jargon word? 

Here at the NHS NWLA we do not believe so. As quoted by Verna Myers if “diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance”. We believe it takes more than acknowledging and talking about equality and diversity. We aim to develop and embed inclusion in all our activity and actively promote it in all that we do. This is key to progressing change in a positive way.

We aim to weave inclusion into everything we do whilst also having a dedicated focus on key areas. We are keen to actively promote the importance of inclusion in all our activity and this is an important focus within our strategic objectives as well as being embedded into our core values.

Inclusion to us means going wider than the protected characteristics legislated by the Equality Act 2010. We aim to lead on making inclusion a reality within the NHS. 

  • We’ll do this by investing in excellent provision to support the development of inclusion, inclusive practice and inclusive leadership within the system.
  • We’ll do this in collaboration with our inclusion experts across the North West and nationally, and across all sectors.
  • We'll do this by influencing the inclusion agenda at a national level, translating policy and strategy, and adopting an agile and responsive approach to this agenda.
  • We’ll do this by spreading good practice and learning, actively challenging and being challenged.
  • We'll do this by being brave, ambitious and courageous in our approach, understanding that disrupting people's perception and views on inclusion is the first step towards making and encouraging positive change. 

We know that diversity and inclusion leads to improved health and greater staff, patient and citizen experiences of the NHS. We are wholeheartedly engaged with the call to action on this important agenda. We are supporting the national programme Building Leadership for Inclusion (BLFI) led by our colleagues at the NHS Leadership Academy.

We are playing our part in addressing underrepresentation at senior levels and wider and ensuring that the NHS truly represents our diverse citizen population now and in the future. This includes access to our Citizen Leadership Toolkit designed to enable organisations and communities to access the Citizen Leadership programme content and learning materials to support them in delivering the programme within their own localities and across a range of different citizen groups.

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