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Equality and diversity:

While we are confident the NHS services we commission are fair and accessible to all, a person’s gender, age, race, disability, sexual orientation and religious beliefs will be a factor in their care.

In line with the Equality Act 2012 we use the national Equality Delivery System (EDS2) to ensure we and our providers deliver better outcomes for the people of Suffolk. This obliges us to make effective use of accurate data, communicate with our local population and to provide consistency and leadership in our equality agenda. Our actions are overseen by the lay member for patient and public involvement, two GP equality and diversity champions and a GP health inequalities lead.

Objective 1

‘Changes across services for individual patients are discussed with them, and transitions are made smoothly’

Score: Achieving

We have:

• adopted a ‘Translation Policy’
• maintained the Youth Engagement and Health (YEAH!) group
• ensured GP practices have ways to record patients who require more help with communication, adhering to the Information Access Standard
• sought patient feedback via our website and social media platforms, and through direct engagement and involvement with the public, and
• toughened our Equality Impact Assessment tools and framework, which saw us actively find people using the Marginalised and Vulnerable Adults services for our engagement exercise in summer 2016.

Objective 2

‘Patients, carers and communities can readily access services, and should not be denied access on unreasonable grounds’

Score: Developing

We have:

• focused on joining-up health and social care services
• improved patients’ direct access to their records
• learned lessons from public inquiries, Care Quality Commission reports and serious case reviews and put systems in place to make improvements
• maintained clinical representation on the Suffolk Safeguarding Board, and
• ensured that any complaints we have received have been dealt with fairly.

Objective 3

‘Senior* and other line managers support and motivate their staff to work in culturally competent ways within a work environment free from discrimination’ (*this was previously ‘middle’)

Score: Achieving

We have:

• overseen the completion of equality and diversity training by all staff
• ensured our employees have equality and diversity objectives in their personal development plans, and
• ensured a patient story is heard at governing body level and broader GP surgery staff training events.

 

Health care services for everyone - The NHS is available to all, free at the point of delivery.

Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is committed to buying fair, accessible, appropriate and sensitive health services for all. We are also committed to being a fair, inclusive and diverse employer.

To support this commitment, we have developed the Equality and Diversity Plan 2012-15 to outline our commitment and approach to equality and diversity work.

Equality objectives

We have adopted the three equality objectives, previously agreed by NHS Suffolk in April 2012 on an interim basis.  Our current equality objectives are:

  • Changes across services for individual patients are discussed with them, and transitions are made smoothly
  • Patients, carers and communities can readily access services, and should not be denied access on unreasonable grounds
  • Senior managers and other line managers support and motivate their staff to work in culturally competent ways within a work environment free from discrimination

A grading exercise with staff, community groups and members of the public was carried out in March 2013 to determine progress made against these three objectives by NHS Suffolk in 2012/13.  This resulted in new grades for some of the objectives.  You can view the grading and information about the progress that has been made here

In line with guidance from NHS England, we will review, prepare and publish at least one equality objective by 13 October 2013.

 

Equality and diversity duties - Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 was introduced in October 2010 to bring together and strengthen all previous anti-discrimination law. The Equality Act protects people with the following nine ‘protected characteristics’ from discrimination:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion and belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Public sector equality duty

A major part of the Act is the public sector equality duty. There are two parts to this: the general equality duty and the specific duties.

The general equality duty requires public bodies in the course of developing policies and delivering services, to have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimization and other conduct prohibited by the Act
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not

The term ‘having due regard’ means:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
  • Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected characteristics where these are different from the needs of other people
  • Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low

The specific duties help public bodies meet the requirements of the general equality duty. With that in mind, NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG will:

  • Publish equality information every year to demonstrate our compliance with the general equality duty: including equality information on Ipswich and East Suffolk’s communities and our staff
  • Prepare and publish one or more equality objectives every four years, to prioritise our work on equality and diversity

Equality analysis

Understanding the effect of our policies and practices on people with protected characteristics is an important part of complying with the equality duty.

One such process is to embed the process of equality analysis (formerly known as equality impact assessments, or EqIAs). We need to understand the impact of our functions on people with protected characteristics for new and existing:

  • organisational policies and functions
  • key decisions, and
  • policies that set criteria or guidelines for others to use

Assessments should start early in the policy or service development process, or at the early stages of a review.  Our toolkit for equality analysis is available here.

NHS Equality Delivery System

To help us meet our requirements under the Equality Act 2010 and public sector equality duty.  We have adopted the NHS Equality Delivery System.

This is a national performance management tool designed to support NHS authorities to improve equality performance and embed equality into core NHS business.

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