Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to commissioning health services in Somerset that are accessible to everyone and do not discriminate on the grounds of a person’s characteristics.

The Equality Act 2010 requires us, like most organisations, to not discriminate or harass anyone on the grounds of the following “Protected Characteristics”:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation.

In addition to the above characteristics, which are protected by law, we also consider other factors relevant to Somerset, such as:

  • Military personnel and veterans, and their families
  • Rural populations
  • Social mobility
  • Street and rural homelessness.

The above list is not exhaustive but aims to offer a sense of the wider view that we take when considering the impacts of our services across the communities of the county.

We actively seek to include people from a variety of communities in all aspects of our work.  We believe that equality should be embedded in public engagement and vice versa. Read more about our public engagement

Read our Black Lives Matter Pledge released in 2020.

What do we do to achieve this?


We believe that in order to embed equality and diversity in our culture, we need to start with a good education across the organisation.  We provide access to training for all new starters at NHS Somerset.  In addition, we run monthly workshops for all employees of NHS Somerset, Somerset’s NHS Trusts, and other partner organisations, such as charities, nursing homes and community organisations, and members of the public.

We provide free training to GP practices across Somerset in respect of equality and diversity.

Equality Training

Equality Impact Assessments

All employees of NHS Somerset are required to undertake full Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) when designing, changing or decommissioning services within Somerset.

Equality Impact Assessments

Public involvement

We understand that there are times where a person’s health outcomes will differ on the grounds of certain both the protected characteristics defined in the Equality Act 2010, and other characteristics that a person may have. We work closely with community groups that represent a variety of characteristics to improve this understanding. This close working allows us to gather patient and public experience, which in turn informs our commissioning decisions and quality assurance processes. This activity complements our wider public engagement activity.

We are represented on Somerset’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) Technical Working Group. This enables us to better understand our population and also to know how the populations and their needs are likely to change.

NHS Somerset Public Sector Equality Duty Report

The public sector equality duty (PSED) is a statutory document that we are required to publish annually and must have due regard in how we eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relationships.

We have reviewed our statutory requirements and developed an action plan which will enable us to continue to respond to equal opportunities for our workforce, ensure an environment free of discrimination and continue to foster good relationships with our patients, partners, and the community.

Policies, actions plans and objectives

We have a number of documents which support how we currently meet, and how we intend to continue meeting our duties in respect of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Workforce Race Equality Standard Action Plan 20-21

Workforce Race Equality Standard Action Plan 20-22

What is the Gender Pay Gap?

The Gender Pay Gap is the average difference between a man and a woman’s remuneration. Gender pay reporting isn’t the same as an equal pay audit. Where an equal pay audit compares like roles to one another, gender pay reporting looks at the average earnings of men and women across the organisation in all types of roles.

All public sector organisations who have over 250 employees are required to publish gender pay gap information yearly, both on their own website and on the Government Gender Pay Gap portal.

You can find the latest figures on our gender pay gap in the report below.

Read the Gender Pay Gap Narrative 2022 report

Read the Gender Pay Gap Narrative 2021 report

Read the Gender Pay Gap Narrative 2020 report

Read the Gender Pay Gap Narrative 2019 report