This report provides evidence of some of the work North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) has undertaken during this reporting year to make NCIC a better and fairer place for patients and staff. It is called an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) report because it shows the work we have done to:

  • Help all people, whoever they are, to receive high quality health care – we call this equality
  • Recognise and celebrate the fact that every person is an individual – we call this diversity
  • Make sure every person is treated with dignity and respect – we call this inclusion

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust provides hospital and community health services to half a million people. We are responsible for delivering over 70 services across 17 main locations and we employ over 7000 members of staff.

The services we provide are divided into eight Collaboratives; Critical Care, Anaesthesia and Theatres, Community Care, Diagnostics and Clinical Support, Emergency Care, Specialist Surgical Care, Speciality Medicine, Surgical Care and Women and Children’s. There are also a number of corporate/support services, such as Digital, Estates & Facilities, Finance and People Services.

Our locations include:

  • Cumberland Infirmary
  • West Cumberland Hospital
  • Penrith Community Hospital
  • Workington Community Hospital
  • Keswick Community Hospital
  • Brampton War Memorial Hospital
  • Cockermouth Community Hospital
  • Maryport Victoria Cottage Hospital
  • Alston Community Hospital
  • Wigton Community Hospital
  • Birchwood Clinic
  • Derwent Clinic
  • Flatt Walks Clinic
  • Kentwood Clinic
  • Solway Clinic
  • Parkhouse
  • Maglona House

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust would like to thank all the individuals, groups, volunteers and organisations who give their time and expertise to support inclusion work at the Trust.


What have we done to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion within North Cumbria Integrated NHS Foundation Trust?

The Trust promotes Equality, Diversity & Inclusion across North Cumbria. We believe that the Trust should be reflective of the communities and people it serves, both in service delivery and employment.

At North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, we strive to treat all staff equitably and in accordance with the law and best practice. We are, as a Trust, always learning and are committed to doing everything that we can to ensure that all we do is free of discrimination, victimisation and harassment.

Our vision is: Creating an inclusive organisation where all colleagues feel a sense of belonging.

We will do this by: 

  • Increasing diversity and accessibility
  • Eliminating inequality
  • Improving experiences for protected groups

​​​​​This is underpinned by our Trust vision “We want to build a new integrated health and care system to create healthier and happier communities” and our Trust values:

  • Kindness: Kindness and compassion cost nothing, yet accomplish a great deal
  • Respect: We’re respectful to everyone and are open, honest and fair
  • Ambition: We set goals to achieve the best for our patients, teams, organisation and partners
  • Collaboration: We’re stronger and better working together with and for our patients

NCIC is very proud to be a multicultural organisation, with over 60 nationalities represented and valued in our workforce. The goals are:

  • Evidence based improvements i.e. Workforce Race Equality Standard, Workforce Disability Equality Standard, Staff Survey results, Gender Pay Gap etc.
  • Amplify diverse voices
  • Celebrating diversity
  • Development and awareness
  • Widening participation

Our work on equality, diversity and inclusion helps to deliver this vision by listening to the experiences of our colleagues and building on the positive feedback. We focus on promoting equality whatever a person’s race, age, gender identity, disability status, marital or civil partnership status, sex, sexual orientation, religion or belief (protected characteristics).

We have aligned our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to our People Strategy, the People Promise and the NHS England EDI Improvement Plan High Impact Actions.

The Trust EDI Action Plan links directly to actions from mandatory submissions such as the Workforce Race Equality Standard, Workforce Disability Equality Standard, Gender Pay Gap Report and National Staff Survey results.

Following the publication of the NHS England EDI National Improvement Plan and the Six High Impact Actions, we incorporated these into our Trust overarching ED&I Action Plan to ensure we are delivering both locally but also across the North East North Cumbria system and nationally.   

Ongoing monitoring against the metrics is undertaken on a quarterly basis by the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group and reported into People Committee for assurance.


Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion progress

People Promise: We are Compassionate and Inclusive
Progress made during 2023 / 2024: 
  • Behaviour safety training and psychological safety campaign delivered to 751 staff in November/December 2023 and February 2024. 99% attendees said they will embed safe behaviours in line with trust values and 94% rated the training as excellent or very good.
  • Reverse Mentoring pilot launched which includes mentees from the Executive and Senior Leadership Team. Evaluation of the pilot will be undertaken in April 2024.  A second cohort is due to commence at the end of April 2024   
  • Values based Welcome Event, 24 events delivered between April 2023 to March 2024 to 556 new starters to the Trust
  • Co-designed a “Leading the NCIC Way’’ leadership behaviour framework linked to our Trust values. Plan in place to raise awareness of “Leading the NCIC Way’ across the organisation and link to appraisal for all leadership roles
  • We are Human campaign launched in December 2023 which focusses on close up images of our staff, to remind patients, families and the community to treat health care professionals with kindness and respect. Further development planned which will have an internal focus.
  • Inclusive Recruitment training package developed and delivered to Trust Board. This is now incorporated within the Recruitment & Selection training for all recruiting managers. Further development ongoing to produce an e-learning package. 
  • Armed Forces Working Group continues to strive with Veteran Aware Accreditation achieved, the Armed Forces Covenant signed and Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Bronze accreditation achieved with application being sought for Silver.
Staff survey score 2022 6.95
Staff survey score 2023 7.10
Difference +15

Ranjit Kirton from The Behaviour Garage, who delivered Be Safe training, said:

“Making sure everyone feels psychologically safe is business critical, and herd mentality and group conformity to good behaviours can happen, but requires the power of many, please continue to make it your business to care.”

People promise: We are Recognised and Rewarded
Progress made during 2023 / 2024:
  • Staff Network Chairs and Co-Chairs awarded 3 hours per month protected time to drive forward the ED&I agenda
  • Attended Cumbria Pride, Diverse & Proud Cumbria and Culture Bazaar during 2023 with fantastic community engagement.  Event attendance being planned for 2024
  • Thank you cards used routinely within the People Promise Team and for the ED&I agenda to show our appreciation
  • Inclusion Calendar and Flags of the World developed and launched which celebrates the diversity of our colleagues in the Trust
Staff survey score 2022 5.65
Staff survey score 2023 5.91
Difference +26

Steve Park, Director of Communication, speaking to staff said: “I’m not sure the outside world will ever fully understand what it takes to do what you do. But we should all be eternally grateful that you do it.

“So thank you, and please take good care of yourself as you continue to deliver great care to others.”

People promise: We each have a voice that counts
Progress made during 2023 / 2024:
  • 45 active Respect & Inclusion Ambassadors in place across the Trust with regular engagement and development opportunities available.  Further work planned to recruit Ambassadors across the Trust where we have gaps
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan Event took place in spring 2023 with engagement from Staff Network and ED&I Steering Group members to discuss and agree key priorities for the forthcoming year.  Plan in place to hold similar event in spring 2024
  • Working in collaboration with our North East North Cumbria (NENC) system partners to develop new ways of working and improved processes.  This includes review of our Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) process, a joined up approach on key events and training offers
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group membership reviewed to ensure we have representation from all Collaboratives to ensure key messages are cascaded
Staff survey score 2022 6.37
Staff survey score 2023 6.50
Difference +13

Anne Edwards, who works in child health information, is a Respect and Inclusion Ambassador.

She said: “I joined the team of Respect and Inclusion Ambassadors as I think it is vital there are safe contacts around the county who can listen, support and signpost.”

People promise: We work flexibly
Progress made during 2023 / 2024:
  • Flexible working policy reviewed and launched including training and toolkits to support implementation.  This includes support for staff with protected characteristics and carer responsibilities
  • Workplace Adjustments Passport developed and implemented.  Further review of the Passport is being undertaken in collaboration with NENC partners
  • Workplace Adjustments training commissioned with ACAS which further supports the development and implementation of the Workplace Adjustments Guide.  Initial feedback from the training is excellent
Staff survey score 2022 5.02
Staff survey score 2023 5.33
Difference +31

We have supported the majority of our staff with flexible working requests. They don't always get approved and sometimes we need to come up with other solutions, but we try to accommodate what we can to meet the needs of the service, and support wellbeing and work life balance. Since the update in flexible working policy more staff than ever have requested them, but we haven't seen an adverse effect on our service delivery. The team really appreciate the support we have given them to complete these. 

Clinical lead, NCIC

People promise: We are safe and healthy
Progress made during 2023 / 2024:
  • Development and publication of the Trust Neurodiversity Guide, which supports individuals and line managers
  • Development and publication of the Trust Workplace Adjustments Guide and Passport, which supports with reasonable adjustments.  Further work ongoing to review the Passport in collaboration with system partners 
  • Menopause work undertaken via Listening into Action project with a focus on awareness, support and training for line managers.  Work continues to be driven forward with the launch of Menopause Cafes in spring 2024 and a ‘Menopause Roadshow’ for World Menopause Week in October
Staff survey score 2022 5.96
Staff survey score 2023 6.15
Difference +19

Justine Steele, Executive Director of People and Organisational Development at NCIC, said:

“We are inspired by our staff every day and are always keen to listen, learn and shape meaningful and impactful actions to ensure the experiences of all colleagues at NCIC are positive.”

People promise: We are always learning
Progress made during 2023 / 2024:
  • Comprehensive EDI training offer in place which includes How to be an Effective Ally, Neurodiversity Awareness, Deaf Awareness, Workplace Adjustments training and LGBT+ Awareness
  • 145 staff attended ED&I training between 1st April 2023 – 1st March 2024
  • Cultural Awareness training offer developed and delivered to 845 staff
  • Current compliance with EDI Core Skills mandatory e-learning is 94% as of 29/02/2024
  • Medical Directorate induction sessions undertaken to promote ED&I and Staff Networks
  • Hosting of Stay and Thrive celebration event for our Overseas Nurses and Midwives to appreciate their work and create a sense of belonging
  • Review of Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) process in collaboration with system partners (ICB)
Staff survey score 2022 5.02
Staff survey score 2023 5.33
Difference +31

“I received a lot of encouragement and support to undertake the apprenticeship, which has completely changed my life.”

Student nurse Amy Graham who has been shortlisted for an innovation award by the Student Nursing Times.

People promise: We are a team
Progress made during 2023 / 2024:
  • Staff Networks continue to grow with a 29% increase in membership during 2023-24
  • Re-election of Staff Network Chair and Co-Chair roles with 3 hours protected time secured to reinvigorate and grow our networks further.  Induction and development opportunities planned for new Chairs and Co-Chairs
  • NCIC International Football Team established with more than 30 members with the aim to build a more diverse community.  Plan in place to grow the NCIC International Football Team further to include staff from other Trust locations
  • Bespoke team intervention undertaken with Willow A Ward with over 50 staff attending over two days.  Team Charter developed and follow up support being provided via the People Promise Team
  • Continue to work closely with the Chaplaincy Team and Freedom to Speak Up Team
Staff survey score 2022 6.50
Staff survey score 2023 6.65
Difference +15

Pam Griffiths, Communications Officer, shadowed the Maternity Team for the day.

“My experience of a day with maternity was a very positive one. I learnt that team work is key, everyone has a role to play and care is the number one priority.”


Modern Slavery Act

As of October 2015 all commercial organisations carrying on business in the UK with a turnover of £36m or more have to complete a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year. The Modern Slavery Act consolidates offences relating to trafficking and slavery (both in the UK and overseas). As a large business we need to publicly state each year the actions we are taking to ensure our suppliers are slavery free. We continue to work within the Act. Read our modern slavery statement.

Trust’s Policy and Training

The Modern Slavery Act is reflected within the Trust’s Safeguarding Policy (POL/CLIN/020) at Section 3.10. This was updated in May 2023 and is due for review in May 2027. Reference is made to the Modern Slavery Act in all levels of Safeguarding training package. The Trust’s internet has a Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking statement.

Employment Checks and Standards

The Trust’s Recruitment Team adhere to recognised procedures to ensure compliance with the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004 as well as regulations around the Right to Work within the UK. Over the past 12 months no cases of non-compliance have been identified.  

All raising concerns cases are reported through the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Policy (POL/WOR/041) with governance through the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.  Over the past 12 months no cases have been raised in relation to Modern Slavery.

Supply Chain

The Department of Health provided an update of its Terms and Conditions for Procuring Goods and Services to reflect Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking on January 2018.  The Trust’s Corporate Procurement Team have received appropriate training to understand modern slavery. 

The Trust requires all contractors via procurement policies and documentation to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for non-compliance.    

In accordance with the NHS Supplier Code of Conduct, the Trust’s procurement processes require all tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery. 

The Trust’s e-tendering system (Atamis) ensures that quality assurance safeguards are in place to protect its contractual spending and identify any potential issues with modern slavery.


Accessible Information Standard

From the 1 August 2016 onwards, all publicly funded health and social care organisations are legally required to adhere to the Accessible Information Standard. These standards set out a specific approach to identify, record, flag, share and act on the information and communication needs of patients, services users, carers and parents with a disability, impairment or sensory loss. In 2017 the specification and implementation guidance was revised following a post implementation of the review and the Standard is now referred to as the DCB1605 Accessible Information.

A Trust action plan is established and progress of continued actions are taking place to keep improving accessibility and communication as part of this plan.


Workforce Equality Standards

In accordance with NHS England’s requirements, the Trust completed the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) and Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES), providing both data and narrative around race and disability equality issues within the workforce. 


Gender Pay Gap

Following government consultation, it became mandatory from 31 March 2017 for public sectors organisations with over 250 employees to report annually on their gender pay gap. The Trust meets the mandatory requirements of the gender pay gap analysis by publishing the report on our websites and submitting data on to the government website.

The gender pay gap describes the difference between the average earnings of all the women in an organisation compared to the average earnings of all the men in that organisation. This not the same as equal pay, which is about ensuring men and women doing the same or comparable jobs are paid the same.


Equality Impact Assessments

An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) should be undertaken for all proposed changes, to assess whether they may cause a detrimental impact upon people with protected characteristics. The Trust undertakes EIA’s and a robust process is in place to evidence that all reviewed and new policies have an EIA.

In addition, all reports seeking Board-level Committee approval must attach the completed EIA to ensure any potential detrimental impact upon people with protected characteristics or under-represented groups have been appropriately assessed.


NCIC workforce profile

Data as of February 2024

16 to 25 years old 7%
26 to 45 years old 48%
46 to 65 years old 43%
66+ years old 1%
White 85.1%
Black and minority ethnic 12.7%
Not stated 2.2%


Buddhism 0.7%
Christianity 54.9%
Hinduism 2%
Undisclosed 18.4%
Islam 1.5%
Jainism 0% (2 colleagues)
Judaism 0% (2 colleagues)
Other 9.6%
Unspecified 0.1%
Male 16%
Female 84%
Not declared 8.4%
Prefer not to say 0.4%
Non disabled 86.6%
Disabled 4.6%
Sexual orientation
LGBT+ 2.8%
Hetrosexual 83.6%
Not declared 13.6%