The Christie is helping to lead the way in equality and human rights within the National Health Service.

The independent health regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has today published new advice on good practice - its Equally Outstanding webpage ( - exploring how a focus on equality and human rights can help to improve quality of care for patients, and The Christie is one of the case studies featured.

The case study notes that The Christie aims to ‘treat everyone with compassion, dignity and respect’ and that it ‘promotes a fair culture’. It mentions that The Christie developed a network of ‘champions’ to take forward culture change at a local level and also made pledges to staff developed through trust-wide work programmes, for example becoming a ‘disability confident employer’.

It also highlighted that The Christie has engaged with the LGBT community in Manchester through work with the LGBT Cancer Alliance and the Trust has also improved the understanding of LGBT issues among staff through learning sessions and an interactive display to support Trans Day of Visibility. It has also upgraded the chapel, prayer room and multi-faith room which are now ‘well-used by patients, visitors and staff with much positive feedback’. 

Using several case studies from the NHS, adult social care and primary medical services, the CQC resource looks at how services rated outstanding by the CQC have prioritised equality and human rights and the positive effects this has had on the quality of care and on staff engagement. It also helps set out the ‘business case’ for equality and human rights.

Jackie Bird, The Christie’s director of nursing and quality, said: “We’re delighted that The Christie has been selected by the CQC as an example of good practice when it comes to treating everybody – patients, families, visitors and staff – equally and with respect for human rights. As an outstanding trust, we are highly aware of the link between ensuring equality and human rights and providing excellent care.”

Paul Corrigan, CQC non-executive director and board equality and human rights champion, said: “When finances are squeezed, it may seem tempting to view work on equality and human rights as an expendable extra when in fact it makes both ethical and business sense for this work to be more central than ever.

“There’s a clear link between the quality of care a service provides and whether the people who use it and its staff feel that their human rights are respected and they are treated equally.”

In the 2015 NHS Inpatient Survey, patients receiving care from trusts rated outstanding were more likely to say that they were treated with dignity and respect in hospital and had the emotional support that they needed. Their overall satisfaction with their hospital stay was also higher.

And patients at outstanding trusts who identify as lesbian or gay were more likely to give positive responses to all three aspects than heterosexual patients - the reverse is true in trusts not rated outstanding.

In the CQC’s acute NHS hospital inspection reports the proportion of positive comments made about the quality of care for people with a learning disability increased in line with a trust’s rating. 

There is also a link between whether staff feel they are treated equally and with respect, and the quality of patient care provided with staff in trusts with higher ratings less likely to say they have experienced discrimination, bullying or harassment. Where black and minority ethnic staff experienced discrimination, there tended to be lower levels of patient satisfaction.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked ‘Outstanding’ by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which referred to it as ‘exceptional’ and ‘a leader in its field’. It not only commended the Trust for its effectiveness and care, but highlighted its work in shaping the future of cancer care and noted the reach and influence of its clinical research projects. The CQC also rated The Christie the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.