Draft Good Relations Strategy 2017-2022

Closed 8 Sep 2017

Opened 9 Jun 2017


Belfast Trust is consulting on our draft Good Relations strategy for 2017 – 2022.  The strategy is called "Healthy Relations for a Healthy Future 2".

image of good relations artwork          Image of lots of hands

We are openly committed to promoting Good Relations amongst people of different religions, beliefs, racial groups and political opinions and to challenging sectarianism and racism.  Ensuring an accessible, inclusive and welcoming environment is integral to Belfast Trust’s delivery of safe, high quality and compassionate care. Our commitment to all staff and service users is that they are treated with respect and dignity irrespective of background, religion or political opinion.

One of our corporate values is to uphold and promote respect and diversity as an employer to more than 20,000 people and serving a population of some 340,000.  It is therefore important that we build upon the programme of work started in our 'Healthy Relations for a Healthy Future 1'  -  our Good Relations strategy for 2012 - 2016.

As the first Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland to produce a Good Relations strategy in 2012, we want to ensure that this second generation strategy adequately and appropriately addresses any issues and priorities in regard to health and social care provision, procurement and employment.

Our new strategy aims to consolidate existing good practice and to progress new initiatives, so that accessible services are provided in shared spaces in an environment where everyone is valued, respected and treated with dignity and feels safe and comfortable accessing all Trust services irrespective of race, religion, belief or political opinion.

The draft themes and actions have been genuinely informed by an independent evaluation of our first Good Relations strategy as well as a regional engagement event which was convened in Belfast Trust on 19th January 2017. 

To read the evaluation of our first Good Relations strategy  click on this link.


The Trust has also been mindful of other key drivers and strategic developments in terms of the Executive Office’s commitment to the promotion of good relations in their  Together Building a United Community (TBUC) and the Belfast City Council’s first Community Plan (The Belfast Agenda) to which people overwhelmingly responded saying that they wanted     "Belfast to continue to be a culturally rich and diverse city that is compassionate, safe and welcoming to all” 

In meeting our commitment to promoting good relations we are also mindful of the guidance from the Equality Commission NI who stated that:

"Good relations is said to exist where there is a high level of dignity, respect and mutual understanding and an absence of prejudice, hatred, hostility or harassment" (Equality Commission NI)

We want to hear your views on our draft Good Relations strategy. 

Please click on the link to read the key themes and actions and then go to the survey to give us your views. 


 If you prefer we can also meet with you and/or your organisation to listen to your feedback - simply contact us.  Also contact us if your require any of our documents in alternative formats.


All the information you provide will be treated in strict confidence. It will not be passed on to anyone else and will only be used by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust for the purposes of this consultation. The analysis is done on an anonymous basis following the Data Protection guidance provided by the Information Commissioners Office. If you do provide any personal data to Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, it will be processed securely and in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.


Why We Are Consulting

Our Good Relations strategy provides a framework to help us  meet our legislative duties under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 both as an employer and a service provider.

This legislation requires the Trust to

  • promote equality of opportunity between nine groups (those of different age, marital status, gender, disability, caring responsibilities, sexual orientation, political opinion, racial group and religious belief)  and
  • to have due regard to the promotion of good relations which focuses solely on 3 protected groups – those of different race, religious belief and political opinion.

Whilst the legislation does not require the Trust to produce a Good Relations strategy, we have done so, in the belief that promoting good relations goes beyond the fulfilment of our legislative responsibilities - producing a strategy is the right thing to do. 

We have a duty of care and a corporate social responsibility to the population of Belfast, our service users/carers and to our dedicated workforce.  We fully endorse the principles of stakeholder engagement and involvement to ensure our strategy is meaningful and relevant which is why we are consulting on the strategy.


What Happens Next

The formal consultation process will finish on 7th September 2017.

Your feedback and suggestions will be thoroughly considered and will inform our final Good Relations Strategy – “A Healthy Relations for a Healthy Future 2” 2017-2022.

We hope to mark Community Relations and Cultural Awareness week in late September by officially launching the endorsed strategy by hosting a number of good relations and cultural celebrations

Electronic and hard copies of the strategy will be distributed to Section 75 representative groups, voluntary and community groups, other public authorities, political parties and Trade Unions. It will also be published on the Trust external website and internal hub site.


  • All stakeholders


  • Quality and safety
  • Provision of health and social care services
  • Improvement of health and social care services
  • Staff engagement