Birmingham South Central (BSC) CCG is committed to establishing a connection between the populations served, the services it provides and commissions and the people delivering services. BSC has a responsibility for improving the health needs of a very diverse and varying demography. Continuous evaluation of service provision allows us to provide high quality integrated services which are responsive to individual need. BSC is committed to reducing inequality and embedding diversity, which will have a positive effect on staff, patients and service users.
The equality agenda requires us to take a holistic view of our population as characterised by ethnic group, religion or belief, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality and social background. We are dedicated to providing services that meet the health needs and expectations of local people. BSC is committed to promoting equality of opportunity; eliminating discrimination and to recognising and valuing diversity. Our aim is to ensure that we commission and provide accessible high quality health services and ensure equality and fairness in employment practices. Our approach to equality, diversity and human rights is underpinned by our legal equality duties (enacted upon authorisation) as a public sector employer and service commissioner. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination and will ensure that barriers to accessing services and employment are identified and removed.
Equality Delivery System (EDS)
The EDS is an NHS specific performance management tool on equalities; we will use the EDS to inform our decision making, assist with evidence gathering and evaluation of performance. At the heart of EDS is a set of 18 outcomes grouped into four goals. These outcomes focus on the issues of most concern to patients, cares, communities, NHS Staff and Governing Bodies. It is against these outcomes that our performance will be analysed, graded and action determined. Further information on how you can be involved in grading our performance will be publicised as we begin implementing EDS through our equality action plan. For further information on EDS please see links below:
- EDS Goals and Outcomes
- EDS Framework
- EDS Grading Manual
- EDS 9 easy steps
- EDS easy read
- Equality Competency Leadership Framework
- Equality Leadership resource pack
We recognise that ‘one size does not fit all’, our staff and communities are all different. Most people want to be fair and to treat people equally. We tend to think that everything is okay because our services are open to everyone – anyone can come through the door, anyone can join in. We treat everyone the same.
But this doesn’t work if everyone is different. If someone can’t read, they won’t know what a leaflet or letter says. If someone can’t hear, they won’t be able to join in the conversation or hear their name being called. If someone has come from another country, they might not know what services exist. And if someone has had a bad experience of using services or joining groups, they won’t come to our services unless we go and talk to them.
This is what equality analysis is about – thinking about how some people might be excluded from what we are offering. We don’t intend to exclude them, but the way in which we organise things or the assumptions we make mean that they can’t join in, or if they try to, it won’t really work for them. Even services that are targeted – as some services are – at specific groups such as women or older people, there might be some people who are not getting a look in. For example, people who have a learning disability – how do they find out about services and get what they need from them?
Essentially, equality analysis is about asking a simple question: Can everyone who needs to, use the service, no matter who they are, no matter what their background? And when they do, have we done everything possible to make sure it’s a positive experience for them? To be able to answer yes, we have to firstly do some thinking and research and secondly agree some actions. To ensure that our decision making is robust and does not discriminate we have embedded the requirement to undertake an equality analysis in our processes.
Equality and Diversity Policy
Equality Act 2010
As a public sector organisation, we will (upon authorisation) be statutorily required to ensure that equality, diversity and human rights are embedded into all our functions and activities as per the Equality Act 2010, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the NHS Constitution.
The Equality Act 2010 provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all. We have general and specific responsibilities known as the public sector equality duties to meet.
The general equality duty requires us to meet the three aims (all equally important) of the Act through demonstration of due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act;
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not;
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
This means that we should:
- Work towards removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics;
- 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.
We will uphold these aims and close the gap in health inequalities.
The reference to ‘protected characteristics; refers to the groups of people who are specifically offered protection by the Equality Act 2010.
Public Sector Equality Duties
To assist public authorities in meeting the three aims of the general duty, specific duties were introduced. The specific duties require us to be transparent about how we are responding to the general equality duty, ensuring that we are accountable to our service users and open to public scrutiny. Meeting the specific duties provides the public with the information they need to challenge and hold us to account for our performance on equality. The specific duties require us to:
- Annually publish information to demonstrate compliance with the general equality duty; this information must include, in particular, information relating to people who share a protected characteristic who are a) employees (as we have less than 150 employees we are exempt from the requirement to publish this information); b) people affected by our policies and practices (such as patients and our communities)
- Prepare and publish one or more specific and measurable objective that it thinks it needs to achieve to further any of the aims of the general equality duty.
Workforce Equality Data
Although we are exempt from the requirement to publish this data we recognise the benefits of collecting and analysing our employee’s diversity to inform and improve our employment practices. We are currently working on producing a report which will be utilised to inform future equality objectives.
Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)
Community Equality Data
Understanding our communities and their needs is critical to delivering and commissioning a comprehensive service which is available to all irrespective of their protected characteristics. Under the NHS Constitution we have a duty to ‘pay particular attention to groups or sections of society where improvements in health and life expectancy are not keeping pace with the rest of the population’. Shortly we will upload a document which will provide an initial demonstration of the communities we serve and the health inequalities experienced.
The Equality Glossary document provides a useful reference which describes the various equality terms and definitions.
These two areas are under development:
- Translations, Interpreting commitment
- A statement from the CCG on their approach will appear here soon
Accessible Information Standard
At Birmingham South Central CCG we acknowledge that not everybody has the same ability to read, write and understand publications in the same format. We are committed to implement the Accessible Information Standard in all our public facing documents and will incorporate a standard line giving people the opportunity to make a request for information in a different language or format ;our standard accessibility information statement will read:
If you require this document in an alternative version such as easy to read, large print, braille, audiotape or help in understanding it in your community language, please contact our communications team
Please call: 01926 353810
We are looking to embed this standard on our website www.bhamsouthcentralccg.nhs.uk by incorporating software like the ‘Browsealoud’ function and ‘Google Translate’ to further improve accessibility to information online for people.
For more information please visit the publications page to download our complaints policy.
Commissioning for Equality conference
Promoting equality is closely related to the pursuit of quality and actions to address and reduce gaps in health inequalities.
A quality service is one that recognises the needs and circumstances of each patient, carer, community and staff member, and ensures that services are accessible, appropriate, safe and effective for all, and that workplaces are free from discrimination where staff can thrive and deliver. A service cannot be described as a quality service if only some patients achieve good outcomes while others do not. Staff from NHS Solihull CCG participated in a conference designed to explore the equality agenda, the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 (in preparation for us having statutory equality duties) and how to utilise the Equality Delivery System to allow us to demonstrate our performance around equalities.
Read a copy of the outputs and learning from the CCG Equality conference.