The NHS is for everyone. No matter your gender, the colour of your skin, your heritage or your age, everyone should receive the same high quality care every time you use a NHS service.
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
Promoting Equality, Diversity and Human Rights
Equality, Diversity and Human Rights play a vital part in the work of the NHS locally. Every member of the community is likely, at some point, to receive some kind of health and social care. NHS Northumberland CCG welcomes diversity in society, acknowledging that experiences, aspirations and needs are as individual as each patient.
As a commissioner of health services and as an employer, NHS Northumberland CCG values all people as individuals irrespective of their protected characteristics.
These web pages are one of the ways in which NHS Northumberland CCG communicates and promotes equality, values diversity and respects human rights in the commissioning of services for the local community.
Meeting Our Legal Duty
As a public sector organisation, NHS Northumberland 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 its 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
Our aim is to uphold these aims and to close the gap in health inequalities.
The Equality Act 2010 outlines specific duties on certain public bodies (of which NHS Northumberland (CCG) is one) to meet the Public Sector Equality Duty more effectively. These specific duties are to:
- Publish information to demonstrate their compliance with the Equality Duty at least annually
- Set equality objectives at least every four years
NHS Northumberland CCG has developed its equality objectives through the EDS2 process as listed below:
- 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.
Our equality information provides an overview of how we meet our public sector equality duty, both through commissioning and employment. We endeavour to work with our community interests and internal groups to prioritise our work which will produce better outcomes. This information is not exhaustive and there are key CCG documents which provide further information about our policies, objectives and actions.
We have listed the main equality documents below and provided the links for reference:
-NHS Northumberland CCG Equality Strategy 2016-2020: Equality-Strategy-2016-2020
-Health Profiles: www.healthprofiles.info
-Public Health England – Local Health: http://www.localhealth.org.uk
-Disability Confident Level 2 accreditation certificate – Northumberland CCG DC L2 02-2018
Right Pack for Equality & Health Inequalities – https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ehircp-ney-northumberland-ccg-dec-18.pdf
Accessible Information Standard
The Standard sets out a specific, consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting the information and communication support needs of patients, service users, carers and parents with a disability, impairment or sensory loss.
The standard tells organisations how to make information accessible to patients, service users and their carers and parents. This includes making sure that people get information in different formats if they need it, such as large print, braille, easy read, and via email.
The Accessible Information Standard also tells organisations how to support people’s communication needs, for example by offering support from a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate. As part of the standard organisations that provide NHS or social care must do five things. They must:
- Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs
- Record those needs in a set way
- Highlight a person’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how these should be met
- Share information about a person’s needs with other NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so
- Act to make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it.
Further information on the Accessible Information Standard can be found on the NHS England website.