Equality and Diversity

Welcome to the Equality Unit section of the Northern Trust website. Promoting equality of opportunity and good relations is of primary importance to the Trust.

Covid 19 related Equality and Rural Needs Screening

The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that many health and social care services have been stood down or significantly reduced. However, we are now past the first peak in Northern Ireland and we are beginning to rebuild services. As we do so we have to recognise that Coronavirus will be with us for some time, and this will change the way we provide many of those services.

There are there proposed phases in the Northern Trust’s ‘rebuild’ plan. Phase 1 covered June 2020, Phase 2 covers July-September 2020 and Phase 3 from October onwards.

These documents open in PDF.

Phase 1 Rebuild Plan
Phase 1 Rebuilding Services Equality Screening
Phase 1 Rural Needs Screening

Phase 2 Rebuild Plan
Phase 2 Rebuilding Services Equality Screening
Phase 2 Rebuilding Rural Needs Assessment

Equality screening to strategic response to Covid-19

The Northern Trust carried out a Section 75 equality screening of its strategic response to the Covid 19 pandemic. This reflects our commitment to the effective implementation of our Section 75 equality and good relations duties and the commitments in our Equality Scheme. The Covid 19 pandemic has required a decisive and responsive plan to be put in place including temporary amendments to provision of services and active redeployment of staff to priority areas in order to protect public health, save lives and protect Health and Social Care. This equality screening will be subject to continuous review to ensure that we can address any unanticipated equality impacts and introduce further mitigation as necessary. For your information, and in the interests of openness and transparency, this equality screening is now publicly available below.

Covid 19 Surge Plans Overall Equality Screening 2020

Rural Needs

Mindful of its obligations under Section 1(1) of the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016 Northern Trust has also completed an overarching rural needs screening of the Trust’s response to the Covid 19 pandemic. In order to protect public health and ensure capacity in the service to protect life and respond to the potential impact of COVID-19 these measures have had to be put in place as a matter of urgency.   Priority areas within this screening has been given to the physical shift of services, the creation of geographic specific new services and the delivery of services by remote means utilising technology and broadband services to deliver. The Trust’s response to COVID-19 is under constant review and further measures may have to be taken at any stage to protect public health.   The Northern Trust Rural Needs Screening Template is available below.

Covid 19 Response Rural Needs Screening

If you require either of these screening documents in an alternative format please contact equality.unit@northerntrust.hscni.net.

Interpreting and Translation Services

We are committed to ensuring that people understand the treatment and support options available.  If you require an interpreter, please use our Interpreting and Translation Service.

Interpreting and Translation Services

Equality and Disability Action Plans

The Trust has in place an Equality Action Plan and Disability Action Plan which after consultation were amended in light of feedback received and approved by Trust Board, along with the accompanying consultation outcome report in March 2018.  All of these documents are also available in an easyread format.

The Trust has revised its Audit of Inequalities document which has helped identify the inequalities to be addressed in our plans.

Audit of Inequalities

Equality Scheme

Our Equality Scheme sets out how the Trust will fulfil its equality duties. The Trust’s Equality Scheme has been approved by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. The Scheme outlines what we intend to do to improve fair and equal access to services and employment. In approving the Scheme the Equality Commission commended the Trust for adopting the best practice in promoting equality and going beyond the minimum legal obligations in order to do so.

Equality Scheme

The Scheme is available, on request, in accessible formats, including Easy Read, Braille, audio formats (CD, mp3 or DAISY), large print or minority languages.

Annual Progress Reports

Each year the Trust publishes a progress report detailing how we are promoting equality of opportunity and implementing the commitments in our Equality Scheme.

Progress Report 2019-20
Progress Report 2018 19
Progress Report 2017-18

It is here that you will find what we are doing to meet our legal duties on equality of opportunity and find information on what progress we are making with screening and equality impact assessment of our policies and functions.

Equality news

Equality News August 2020

Good Relations

The Trust’s Good Relations strategy is committed to ensuring that staff, services users and carers feel welcome and comfortable when coming to work and when accessing services. The Trust has a legal duty to promote Good Relations between people of different religious beliefs, political opinion or racial group.

Good Relations Strategy


Policies and proposals

In keeping with the Trust’s commitments in its Equality Scheme the Trust has screened its new policies and proposals. The screening process is used to identify which policies/proposals are likely to have an impact on equality of opportunity or good relations. Screening assesses the likely impact as major, minor or none.

If it is decided that a policy/proposal is likely to have significant/major issues relating to equality, it is then necessary to carry out a more detailed exercise called an equality impact assessment (EQIA).

Rural Needs

Rural Needs Reporting Template

Multi- Cultural beliefs handbook

This is a resource to provide guidelines for treating people with different religions and/or beliefs. It includes general guidelines on cultural diversity, a culturally sensitive health and social care checklist, a section on spiritual and religious needs assessment and details on interpreting and translation services.

Multi Cultural Beliefs Handbook

Promoting Equality, Good Relations and Human Rights

Equality Guidance For Board Members

This guidance helps to ensure that all board Members are aware of their roles and responsibilities in relation to equality, good relations and human rights and the integration of Section 75 duties across all Trust functions including areas such as service provision, policy formulation, employment and procurement.






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