Equality and diversity
Equality is about making sure everyone is treated fairly and given an equal chance to access opportunities. It is not about treating everyone the same way. People may require different things to achieve similar outcomes.
Diversity means ‘difference’. When it is used in the same context as equality, it is about recognising and valuing individual as well as group differences. It also means treating people as individuals and placing positive value on the diversity they bring as a result of them belonging to a certain personal protected characteristic or their cultural background.
To make sure everyone is able to get the best out of NHS services, we need to understand who our patients are and what their individual needs are so when they access treatment they get the right care and have the best possible experience.
We know health inequalities exist in Greater Huddersfield and that some patients have different access, experience and outcomes when they use the NHS. We want to reduce those differences and remove them entirely where possible.
Our approach to equality and diversity is detailed here
Greater Huddersfield and health inequalities
The patient population of the Greater Huddersfield CCG is more than 243,000 and is continuing to rise, especially in the older age groups. This creates health and social care challenges as more people live longer with long term conditions, and brings economic and social challenges as the proportion of working age people reduces. One in six of the adult population and more than one in four under 18s are South Asian, with higher populations in Huddersfield North and South. Poverty and deprivation levels are highest in Huddersfield North and South, along with higher rates of unhealthy behaviours and higher disease burden. Lifestyles have a significant impact on the major causes of ill health and premature death in Greater Huddersfield. Whilst smoking rates continued to decline, there remained significant challenges, especially among women of childbearing age, children and those living in the more deprived areas. Two in five 14-year-olds lived with an adult who smoked. Almost half (49%) of children in Huddersfield North and South live in the top 20% most deprived areas in Kirklees, compared with one in three in Greater Huddersfield (32%) and Kirklees (38%). One in six (16%) 14-year-olds in Huddersfield South care for a family member with a disability/illness, higher than the Greater Huddersfield average (one in eight, 12%). One in five (19%) of the adult population in Greater Huddersfield are carers. This will increase as the population live longer and changes are made to social care provision for those with higher care needs. Adult carers are more likely have poorer health; especially pain and depression than non-carers For more information on the local population, inequalities and health please visit:
Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty
The Equality Act 2010 protects people against discrimination, harassment and victimisation in relation to housing, education, clubs, the provision of services and work. It unifies and extends previous equality legislation. Equality is a legal principle to eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity to people and groups.
The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is made up of a general duty and specific duties. The general duty forms the main part of the legislation, and is supported by specific duties which support public bodies to demonstrate performance and compliance.
The public sector equality duty is described in Section 149 of the Equality Act and requires public bodies, including CCGs, to pay due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
The Act explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves:
- Removing or minimising disadvantage associated with a protected characteristic;
- Taking steps to meet the needs of individuals who share a protected characteristic (where these are different from others); and
- Encouraging persons who share a protected characteristic to participate in public life or in any other activity where participation by that group of people is disproportionately low.
Protected characteristics are defined as:
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Gender reassignment
Under the specific duties of the PSED we are required to:
- Publish information to demonstrate compliance with the general duty annually, including data on those with a protected characteristic who are affected by our policies and practices
- Publish one or more equality objectives covering a four-year period
To evidence ‘due regard’ as required by the Equality Act 2010 and to be sure that the decisions we take make a real, positive difference to the lives of people in North Kirklees, where a decision is being made about a potential change to a service, policy or activity an equality impact assessment (EIA) will be completed. We have developed an integrated impact assessment process which includes quality, equality and privacy, amongst others, to ensure that these are considered within CCG commissioning processes.
Greater Huddersfield CCG Public Sector Equality Duty annual reports
The Equality Objectives for 2018 – 2022 are:
- Improve access to GP Practices for specific equality groups, including LGBT and children and young people
- Improve engagement with specific equality groups
- Improve governance processes for equality
Progress on the equality objectives is monitored quarterly by the Senior Management Team and Quality Committee, and an annual update is provided in the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) report. A detailed action plan has been created and is available here.
Equality Delivery System (EDS2)
The Equality Delivery System (EDS2) is a toolkit designed by the Department of Health to help NHS organisations to improve the services they provide for their local communities, consider health inequalities in their local area and provide better working environments that are free of discrimination.
The EDS has four goals, with 18 specific outcomes. As part of the EDS process, NHS organisations engage with their patients, local voluntary organisations and their staff in order to grade their equality performance, identify where improvements can be made and act on their findings. The EDS goals are:
- Better health outcomes for all
- Improved patient access and experience
- Empowered, engaged and included workforce
- Inclusive leadership at all levels
They are rated on a scale as follows:
- Purple – excelling
- Green – achieving
- Amber – developing
- Red – undeveloped
Kirklees Equality Health Panel
Our Equality Health Panel provides an opportunity, quarterly, for protected groups and their representatives to share their views, information and feedback with the CCG and our providers to promote equality in the Kirklees healthcare system.
The Equality Health Panel is a forum where the voices of those people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010 and other disadvantaged groups are represented in the health care system; and it brings together commissioners, health care providers, stakeholders and local communities to identify areas for improvement and suggest recommendations;
At recent meetings the Panel have supported the CCG and providers on the Equality Delivery System grading process and development of the equality objectives. The Panel was set up in April 2017 so its work will feature in future Public Sector Equality Duty reports.
Workforce Race Equality Scheme (WRES)
The WRES requires NHS organisations to demonstrate progress against nine indicators of workforce equality. A Workforce Disability Equality Standard will be introduced in 2018. Our WRES return for 2016/17 is here. An action plan can be found here. Our WRES return for 2017-18 available here. Find here an animation for NHS England on the WRES.
Accessible Information Standard (AIS) for health and social care
The ‘Accessible Information Standard’ establishes a framework so patients and service users (carers and parents) who have information or communication needs relating to a disability, impairment or sensory loss, receive accessible information and communication support when accessing NHS or adult social services.
To prepare for the AIS in 2016 the CCG:
- developed briefings for providers, CCG staff and GP practices and briefing sessions undertaken.
- carried out surveys with GP practices to understand the support they need to implement the standard and used the feedback to shape and develop bespoke resources
- provided advice and guidance to health care organisations and their staff to implement the Standard and made contact to ensure they are making progress against the Standard
- promoted and raised awareness of the Standard with healthcare organisations and CCG staff
Updates on the Accessible Information Standard will be provided annually in the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) report.