Our commitment to equality and diversity

The Equality Act 2010 received Royal Assent on 8th April 2010, and came into effect on 1 October 2010, bringing together and strengthening the previous equalities legislation. The Act gives the UK a single Act of Parliament, requiring equal treatment in access to employment and provision of public services, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage, maternity or pregnancy, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It has particular implications for employers and statutory bodies such as NHS Dorset CCG.

It is desirable and good practice to undertake an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) as part of our commitment to patients, staff and the public, to consider the impact that our policies, strategies or plans may have on our equality groups (protected characteristics).

Our Equality Impact Assessments are live and ongoing and will be updated during reviews and throughout the course of a project.   Examples of our EIAs can be found at the foot of this page.

We are committed to ensuring that we reduce health inequalities and to keeping the needs of our communities at the heart of our commissioning role.

Our mission, ‘Supporting people in Dorset to lead healthier lives’, means that we need to work with a range of communities and populations to support them in accessing and using local health services. We need to increase knowledge about healthcare needs to enable our communities to lead healthier lives.
We recognise that people access services and need support in a variety of different ways. For us to succeed in our mission, we need to understand our communities, engage effectively with you and commission services to meet local needs.

The CCG is keen to ensure that the information that we send out to the public  is suitable and understandable to as many people as possible. Our information can be made into easy read or translated into different languages, if that is what you find useful.

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy has at its heart a commitment to keeping the needs of our diverse communities at the centre of our commissioning role. This includes tackling as effectively as possible, health inequalities by having appropriate actions to take, in place.

Dorset CCG takes seriously the particular needs that members of diverse communities or those with protected characteristics that use our services have.  We believe, as is reflected in our planning and ethos, that healthcare provision on an equitable discrimination-free basis is the right of all in Dorset.

We are also committed to ensuring that we reduce health inequalities (meaning those who suffer from them have reduced opportunities to access timely and effective health care services).

Health inequalities can mean reduced life span, greater vulnerability to colds and infection, living longer than required with physical impairments, etc. they can be caused by language barriers, mental health related communication issues and even fear of experiencing prejudice – such as homophobia and transphobia – as well as not having a good understanding of what NHS services are available and how to access them.

Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)

The Equality Act 2010 has brought with it a new, legal, public sector equality duty (PSED) requiring public bodies to declare their compliance with the duty on an annual basis. This means that we must show compliance with both the general and specific duties of the PSED.

For the general duty we need to show how we are having 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.

Protected characteristics – in the context of the PSED – are defined as:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race – this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
  • Religion or belief – this includes lack of belief
  • Sex – male and female
  • Sexual orientation

It also applies to marriage and civil partnership, but only in respect of the requirement to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination.

For the specific duty we are required to:

  • Publish information to demonstrate compliance with the general duty. Please see link to our Annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 2017 report,
  • Publish data on the make-up of our workforce,
  • Publish data on those affected by our policies and procedures,
  • Publish one or more equality objectives covering a four year period.

The progress we have made towards meeting the requirements of the general equality duty can be seen in our Annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Report.

Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council announced on the 31st July 2014 that it had agreed action to ensure employees from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.

NHS England have mandated WRES for all NHS commissioners, and their larger provider partner organisations (where the combined contract value exceeds £200K pa) from April 2015.

An action plan to look at some of the learning from this year’s report has been approved:

  • To introduce unconscious bias learning into the organisation to improve perceptions around recruitment,
  • Establish a channel of communication between BME staff and the governing body to cultivate a culture of mutual understanding around some of the WRES indicators,
  • Ensure that job vacancy lists are widely publicised within our diverse contacts and that conversations around development opportunities or lack of, are carried out.

The main purpose of the action plan is to take a proactive view in improving on last year’s report. The governing board lead on E&D will be championing the WRES in line with his other responsibilities.

The Five Year Forward View sets out a direction of travel for the NHS – much of which depends on the health service embracing innovation, engaging and respecting staff, and drawing on the immense talent in our workforce.

We know that care is far more likely to meet the needs of all the patients we’re here to serve when NHS leadership is drawn from diverse communities across the country, and when all our frontline staff are themselves free from discrimination. These new mandatory standards will help NHS organisations to achieve these important goals.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England

The evidence is clear that treating all healthcare staff fairly and with respect is good for patient care.  When black and minority ethnic staff, who make up a large minority of nurses, doctors and other NHS staff, are treated fairly it improves patient experience and patient safety. The Workforce Race Equality Standard encourages, and where necessary requires, all NHS providers to treat all black and minority ethnic staff fairly and ensure their full talents are used. It is good news for patients and for staff that NHS organisations have adopted this ground breaking evidence-based approach.

Roger Kline, Research Fellow, Middlesex University Business School