On October 8th 2019 NHS England asked us to lead a national webinar on our approach to Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) in Dorset. 

The webinar was attended by about 50 colleagues from across the country who joined the session to learn about the following: 

  •         What is an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA)?
  •         What are the related Duties (and the protected characteristics)?
  •         The approach to EIAs in Dorset
  •         Our EIA public representative (her background, her role & examples of good practice)

You can view the slides that we presented: Our Dorset EIA Webinar – October 2019. 

Assessing the impact of proposed service change on local people is absolutely the right thing to do in helping us address equality and health inequality and creating high quality health and care for all.  It is also in line with the Equality Act 2010. 

We are really lucky in Dorset to have the support of an expert public representative who helps us to review our EIAs.  Susan Cowsill is passionate about equality and has vast experience in this area, having previously worked for the Care Quality Commission in the Equality and Human Rights Team. 

Susan explains that EIA is an ongoing process and not just a form to be completed once – it is about ensuring equal opportunity for all.  She ensures that we consider potential impacts on different groups, considering the local population’s geography, demography and diversity and all 9 protected characteristics. 

I felt that it was a privilege and a pleasure to be asked to work with Frances to contribute to the webinar about EIAs. The more that we all consider how policies and procedures might impact on people with protected characteristics, the closer we move towards achieving equality of access, experience and outcome in the NHS for everyone.”  Susan Cowsill, EIA Public Representative.