Equality, diversity and inclusion is important to us.
  • We want to make it easy for people to access our services 
  • We want to ensure better health outcomes for all.
  • We want everyone to be treated with dignity, respect, empathy and compassion
  • We want to recruit and retain our staff from all diverse communities 
  • We want our staff to be empowered, engaged and have a sense of belonging
  • We want to ensure there is Inclusive leadership at all levels
The Trust is committed to ensuring that our services and employment practices are fair, accessible and appropriate for all patients, visitors and carers in the community we serve, as well as the talented and diverse workforce we employ.

We recognise that different people have different needs and these pages tell you about what we are doing to meet those needs. 

If you require more information please contact the Diversity & Inclusion Lead on 01254 732396, or email: diversity@elht.nhs.uk

Our inclusion statements

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is committed to ensuring everyone can feel safe and bring their whole selves to work, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. As an organisation we all have a part to play to ensure that the culture of the Trust is one in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect.   

Ability is not defined by gender or sexuality and here at ELHT we are committed to creating an inclusive and supportive workplace for everyone which will positively impact on the quality of care delivered to patients. 

We won't tolerate homophobia, transphobia, biphobia or anything else that makes individuals feel bullied, belittled or disrespected because of how they choose to be identified.   

We have seen a huge pull towards inclusion being on the agenda not only at ELHT but throughout our community, but there is still a long way to go. It’s important to look at what grass-roots individual things we can do that will have a huge impact to ensure we all feel valued and respected.  

Our LGBTQ+ community form a huge part of our ELHT Family and it’s so important that we are all respected and encouraged to talk openly about our beliefs and values.  If you'd like to contact our LGBTQ+ staff network about any questions or queries you may have, please email LGBTQ@elht.nhs.uk.

At a time where statements are no longer enough, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is proactively confronting all forms of systemic racism as part of our ongoing commitment to being an anti-racist organisation.

A key part of this commitment is to foster an environment where colleagues, patients, their friends and families, from all backgrounds, can coexist - free from discrimination, inequalities, unfairness and prejudice. To enable this, we will strive to remove bias – unconscious or otherwise – from our policies and processes and root out bullying, harassment and other unacceptable behaviours.


An anti-racist position means opposing racism through positive actions that purposefully identify and then challenge racism and the impact it has on our organisation, our systems and our people. There is no room for neutrality. This is the only way we can make the most of our talented, diverse workforce and maintain our longstanding reputation for providing safe, personal and effective care.

NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS)

The evidence presented by the Trust has been collated as part of the implementation of the Department of Health’s Equality Delivery System (EDS). The EDS is designed as a tool to be used to help all staff and NHS organisations understand how equality can drive improvements and strengthen the accountability of services to patients and the public. It will help ensure that everyone - patients, public and staff - has a voice in how organisations are performing and where they should improve.

The EDS encourages Trusts to work with their service users, staff and stakeholders to gather and analyse information on equalities, set equality objectives and make the changes required to become better employers and improve how frontline health services deliver good health outcomes for the protected groups.

At East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust we take equality, diversity and human rights seriously and want to ensure they are part of every aspect of our work. We believe that at every level within the organisation equality, diversity and human rights should impact the provision and delivery of services, the employment of staff, the management of the workforce, the development of policies and functions and how we engage and interact with our local community.

We recognise that the population we serve and our workforce is extremely diverse and is becoming even more so. For this reason, we have a business, moral and ethical, as well as a legal duty, to treat everyone fairly and without discrimination.

We are a prominent employer and service provider in East Lancashire and the diversity of our workforce and people who access our services bring a richness of cultures and lifestyles. This also brings a number of challenges and opportunities that our business of health and wellbeing needs to be ready to tackle to support us to continue to deliver a safe, personal and effective care.

Our vision is to provide safe personal effective care.

 To achieve that vision, we aim to:

  • Treat everyone with respect and dignity at all times
  • Challenge discriminatory behaviour and practice
  • Recognise and embrace diversity
  • Ensure equal and easy access to services
  • Ensure equal access to employment and development opportunities
  • Consult and engage with staff, patients and their families to ensure that the services and the facilities of the Trust meet their needs.

Over the last couple of years we have welcomed the arrival of the NHS Equality Delivery System Performance Management Framework within the Trust. For the first time we have a system that can measure and assess our Equality performance against 4 goals and 18 outcomes that are most relevant to our staff and service users. 

Goal 1 Better health outcomes for all.
Goal 2 Improved patient access and experience.
Goal 3 Empowered, engaged and included staff.
Goal 4 Inclusive leadership at all levels.

The evidence presented by the Trust has been collated as part of the implementation of the Department of Health’s Equality Delivery System (EDS). The EDS is designed as a tool to be used to help all staff and NHS organisations understand how equality can drive improvements and strengthen the accountability of services to patients and the public. It will help ensure that everyone - patients, public and staff - has a voice in how organisations are performing and where they should improve.

The EDS encourages Trusts to work with their service users, staff and stakeholders to gather and analyse information on equalities; set equality objectives and make the changes required to become better employers and improve the way frontline health services deliver good health outcomes for the protected groups who experience the greatest inequalities.

Publishing information

Equality Act 2010 – Public Sector equality Duty

Public sector organisations, including East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, are required to publish information to demonstrate their compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) at least annually, not later than 31 January 2012, and subsequently at intervals of not greater than one year beginning with the date of last publication (The Regulations, Section 2). In particular, information relating to persons who share a relevant ‘protected characteristic’ who are a) employees or b) other persons affected by its policies and practices.

Equality Objectives

The Trust has developed a set of equality objectives for 2017/18. These have been developed under the NHS Equality Delivery System and it is intended that the Trust’s performance against these objectives can be reviewed and graded each year in collaboration with staff and patient groups.

Chaplaincy Service

If you have religious needs whilst you are a patient with us you can contact the Chaplaincy Service. The chaplains provide:

  • Time and space for patients/carers to talk – a listening ear in confidence – especially during anxious and critical times. Someone to sit with you and listen.
  • Pastoral care and support - companionship during traumatic times.
  • Prayer and sacramental support when needed.
  • Advice about specific issues concerning the needs of any faith or to try to make contact with and arrange for a minister of a particular religion of faith group to come in should that be required.

The chaplains are available to everyone - people of any faith or of no faith – and they meet people where they are, openly, without prejudice and in confidence, to give time and a listening ear.

Both Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital and Burnley General Teaching Hospital have a mosque, chapel and a number of quiet rooms. There are also washing facilities available.

The Chaplaincy Service can be contacted by calling  Andrew Horsfall on 01254 731849 or visit the Chaplaincy (Spiritual Care) page.

View Chaplaincy Service

This is a guide for people who might need or care for someone who may need support when communicating whilst using the services here at east Lancashire Hospitals Trust.

With prior arrangement we can offer the following:

  • Most of our services now offer a text messaging service for appointments and reminders, (for bookings made outside of four weeks) 
  • Most of our receptions and ward entrances offer loop system for people who are hard of hearing.
  • Documents available in Braille or large print
  • RELAY services
  • British Sign Language Interpreters can be arranged
  • Documents available in other languages
  • Self-service check in
    Interpreting and Translation services for Community Languages

Emergency Services

  • Emergency SMS – for people who are deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired people, patients can send an SMS message to the UK 999 service. Patients will need to register their mobile phone before using the emergency SMS service at http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/
  • Emergency Interpretation/translation services via telephone service providers when using our services

The Accessible Information Standard (AIS) is a new national standard that all organisations providing NHS or adult social care are required to implement. 

Further information about the Accessible Information Standard is available on the NHS England website.

The AIS ensures that patients, carers and parents of patients, and visitors who have a disability or sensory loss receive information they can access and understand. We strive to ensure that information is given in the appropriate format. This includes:

  •  large font patient letters and patient information leaflets
  • verbal and visual communication support 
  • patient information and patient letters by email or text reminders
  • personalised communication for people with a learning disability
  • communication support using the ‘This is me’ leaflet for people who have dementia
  • BSLinterpreters and hearing loops at all sites.

 If you have a specific communication need, please call the service under which you are being treated (for example outpatients, coronary care, etc.). You can find contact details on your appointment letter.

Accessible Information Standard group

An Accessible Information Standard patient group works alongside our Signage and accessible project group to offer advice and ideas from a patient and carer perspective. If you would like to learn more about its work or become involved please contact diversity@elht.nhs.uk . 

Further projects

We have also undertaken a range of other projects in support of the new Standard. We have:

  • Installed the NHS England AISe-learning package to increase staff awareness 
  • Assessed additional training needs for staff
  • Developed system flags to identify patients and/or carers who require information in a different format
  • ELHT is working with Healthcare Communications on production of our letters through a patient portal which will assist with sending information by email, braille, easy read, text messages, large print, etc with the intention of using this method routinely for patient appointments in the future.
  • installed new hearing loop system at our Burnley and Blackburn sites

Do you have or do you know anyone with a communication problem?

Is it difficult explaining what you need to communicate when you are out and about?

The ‘Get the Message’ communication card is personalised with your own message explaining what you need in order to communicate effectively.

What is a Communication Card?

The Card is the size of a business card, so it can be easily carried with you. All the Cards have the same front cover, and the other side of the card has a message which is personalised to the individual.

Who is eligible for a Communication Card?

It is available to anyone who has a difficulty with communication. There are a wide range of health conditions that can cause barriers to communication; visual and hearing impairments can make spoken communication problematic. There are conditions affecting the brain such as stroke, trauma, and long term neurological conditions can also result in issues like aphasia where a sufferer will struggle to find the right words. People with Learning Difficulties, Autism and Tourette’s may also struggle with aspects of communication.

Why may a communication card be needed?

Explaining there is a difficulty communicating and what support is required can be stressful for the individual. It may be a noisy, busy environment which can exacerbate an individual’s communication further. Many people with communication issues may not outwardly show any sign of disability or illness which can mean people are slow to identify, respond and/or may not know the best way to help that person.

How can a Communication card help?

Using the card means you can hand it over discreetly to the person and it quickly indicates there is a barrier to communicating and informs the reader of the card how they may assist the person.

Where can I use the communication Card?

When attending medical appointments and going out in the community, the Cards provide an easy and discreet way to explain to the person you are communicating with, that there is a barrier to communication and how to support them.

How do I decide what information goes on my Card?

The staff at the CEDA Centre will assist in working out some wording for the card which is personalised for an individual’s needs. We don’t want to disclose any personal or sensitive information on the Cards, so the statements are short, and focused on explaining simply how the individual can be assisted in order to communicate more effectively. For example ‘please face me when talking so I can lip read’….’please give me time to finish what I am saying’….’I need to write things down’.

How do I get a Communication Card?

The CEDA Centre provides the Cards and you can contact them in the following ways.
Email: cedacentre1@elht.nhs.uk 
Telephone: 01282 805922.

How much does a Communication card cost?

They are provided free of charge as long as you have a communication problem.

Related Documents

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement of Intent
AIS Summary Report
Equality Objectives 2021-2023
ELHT 2016-2021 WRES report
WRES/WDES 2022 Report
Equality and Diversity Annual Report
Gender Pay Gap Report 2022
EDI Action Plan 2023 including the Workforce race and disability equality standards