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Views sought on race equality

Issued: 15 Aug 2008

People in the Highlands are being asked for their views on race equality.

NHS Highland is working in partnership with a range of public bodies to find out if people are being treated fairly or if they experience discrimination because of their race or ethnic background.

People are being asked to look out for a questionnaire in GP surgeries, local businesses, hospitals and community groups later this month. The feedback will help inform the Race Equality Scheme that every public sector organisation has a duty to produce.

NHS Highland’s Policy Development Manager Esther Dickinson says: “We need to know more about people’s experiences so that we can find out if the services we offer meet the needs of the whole community. If we know what the needs are we can deal with these directly.

“We want the Highlands to be a welcoming place for everyone. The population is ever changing and it’s important that the NHS in Highland does all it can to highlight the importance of valuing diversity. There are Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups in every area of the Highlands. Sometimes smaller BME populations can have difficulty accessing services and becoming a true part of the community. NHS Highland staff need to work towards addressing this.

“We want to boost understanding that diversity is something that can be valued and celebrated. It’s all about making sure that nobody is disadvantaged because of their age, disability, faith, gender, race or sexual orientation. Everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“We need to know if our work so far, such as our interpretation service, and organised community events are working effectively to target need. We invest considerable effort in training our employees in equality and diversity awareness and hope to encourage other organisations, no matter how small, to do the same. We are also working with our partners to launch a system for reporting hate incidents.”

The survey is available in other languages and formats. There is an online version of the questionnaire at: http://sol1.surveyshop.com/surveylogin.asp?k=121733960274

NHS Highland is working in partnership with: The Highland Council, Northern Constabulary, Highlands and Islands Fire & Rescue Service, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage and University of the Highlands and Islands.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme