NHS Arden & Greater East Midlands (GEM) Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) has been commissioned by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to help embed equality into its decisions, services and employment practices. The contract marks a significant milestone for the CSU, with the expansion of its Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights service into the provider market.
The one-year contract worth over £70,000 will focus on: ensuring the Trust meets its obligations under NHS England’s Equality Delivery System (EDS2); setting clear objectives to drive forward key priorities; and embedding quality and human rights across decision-making, policies and processes.
Dan Whalley, Equality and Human Rights Lead at NHS Arden & GEM CSU, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract. It’s really exciting to be able to work with providers as well as commissioners to drive forward the equalities agenda. It’s a natural progression for us, as we already have extensive experience in this field. We are looking forward to strengthening the Trust’s approach to help ensure people are treated equally and fairly - at work, during care and out in communities.”
NHS Arden and GEM CSU’s team of experts will begin by developing a baseline audit to identify any gaps and establish the priorities for the coming months. A dedicated equalities specialist will work part of the week in the Trust’s office to gain valuable insight and provide onsite support.
Beth Brand, Head of Patient Experience at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We chose to work with NHS Arden & GEM CSU because of their local knowledge, existing expertise and their experience of delivering equalities services at scale. We are committed to ensuring that equality underpins everything we do and the CSU’s support will enable us to move ahead with our key priorities.”
This contract builds on NHS Arden & GEM CSU’s existing arrangements to deliver Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights services to 14 CCGs across Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Birmingham.