The Equality Act became law in 2010 and covers everyone in Britain.
It protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation because of the protected characteristics that we all have. Under the Equality Act, there are nine protected characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
Meeting our legal duty
NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG embeds equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights into all activities. To do this, we must demonstrate our commitment to:
- Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- Advancing equality of opportunity
- Promoting good relations
This means that the CCG and our employees should:
- Work towards removing or minimising disadvantages
- Take steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people
- Encourage people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
The Equality Act 2010 outlines specific duties on certain public bodies, including the CCG to meet the Public Sector Equality Duty more effectively. These specific duties are to:
- Publish information to demonstrate our compliance with the Equality Duty at least annually
- Set equality objectives at least every four years
Our equality objectives are:
- Continuously improve engagement, and ensure that services are commissioned and designed to meet the needs of patients
- Ensure processes are in place to provide information in a variety of communication methods to meet the needs of patients, in particular the ageing population and those with a disability
- Monitor and review staff satisfaction to ensure they are engaged, supported and represent the population they serve
- Ensure that the CCG Governing Body actively leads and promotes Equality and Diversity throughout the organisation
We developed our objectives through the Equality Delivery System (EDS2) process and looked at lots of information to identify what our objectives needed to be, including monitoring data on service access, patient experience and engagement with local interest groups.
Equality Impact Assessments
Our Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) Toolkit has been implemented to provide a comprehensive insight into our local population, patients and staff’s diverse health needs.
The tool covers all equality groups offered protection under the Equality Act 2010 (Race, Disability, Gender, Age, Sexual Orientation, Religion/Belief, Marriage and Civil Partnership and Gender Re-assignment) in addition to Human Rights and Carers. As well as including prompts for engagement with protected groups, the tool also aids compliance with the Accessible Information Standard.
Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES)
The CCG annually assesses itself against the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) to ensure that:
- Data is collected and reviewed against the nine WRES indicators
- An action plan is produced to close any gaps in workplace experience between white and Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) staff, and
- Board membership includes BME representation