The role of equality, diversity and inclusion is important to the CCG and is embedded into our values, behaviours and our decision making processes. We are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination, promoting equality and valuing diversity. Our aim is to commission high quality healthcare services that are accessible to everyone.
How we achieve our equality, diversity and inclusion responsibilities
We aim to achieve these through:
- Proactively engaging and consulting with patients, stakeholders, partners and staff.
- Having robust strategies and policies across the CCG.
- Taking a zero-tolerance approach to harassment, discrimination and victimisation.
- Having a committee with responsibility for driving forward the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda within the CCG.
Our Equality and Diversity Working Group
In partnership with NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Commissioning Group (DGS CCG), we have successfully established a joint Equality and Diversity Working Group (EDWG) which is chaired by our Independent Member for Patient and Public Engagement.
The committee is made up of representatives of each team within the CCGs who and works to deliver a set of equality, diversity and inclusion objectives and an annual work-plan. These are split into three main areas:
- To hold the Governing Body (for each CCG). Staff and volunteers to account in delivering their equality, diversity and inclusion responsibilities in all areas of their work.
- Engagement and Consultation.
- To contribute to engagement events, particularly ones that have a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion.
- Build community links to ensure that local needs inform decision making throughout the commissioning process.
- Service Selection and Delivery
- Monitor and re-prioritise action plans based upon feedback and in response to internal and external drivers.
- Ensure that equality, fair treatment and social inclusion are integral to the decision making process.
Legislation and guidance
Our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion is underpinned by national legislation, guidance and principals.
The Equality Act 2010 (“the Act”) is the main piece of legislation that the CCG works to in developing its equality and diversity functions. The Act combines previous anti-discrimination and equalities legislation. It introduces the Public Sector Equality Duty which requires public authorities (or those working on behalf of public authorities) to promote equality for each of the 9 Protected Characteristics.
Under the Act, the CCG is required to give due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation (and any other prohibited conduct).
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it.
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
The CCG also works within the boundaries of the Human Rights Act 1998 which sets out and protects the basic rights of anyone who is in the UK for any reason. The FREDA Principles are a set of values supported by Human Rights Act 1998. These stipulate that a person can expect to be treated with:
These provide a useful guide to ensure that the CCG is commissioning services that will treat people with both dignity and respect, is working to ensure that all members of our local communities have fair and equal access to services, have control of their lives and are empowered to make choices about their care.
The Equality Delivery System
The aim of the NHS Equality Delivery System 2 (EDS2) is to improve equality performance of the NHS and embed equality, diversity and inclusion into our mainstream business process planning. EDS2 is enables us to make improvements to the services we commission as it places focus on the issues that matter for our patients, stakeholders, communities and our staff.
For further information on the EDS2 system, please click here.
As part of our responsibilities under EDS2, each year the CCG reviews one of the services we have commissioned to assess patient experience and access for each of the 9 Protected Characteristics. We speak to patients, carers, local stakeholders and the providers of the service about what works well and what improvements can be made. As a result of that review an action plan is designed to drive improvements to service. If you would like a copy of this action plan, please contact us.
The CCG as an employer
We are keen that our workforce is as diverse as our local communities and are committed to providing equal opportunities to everyone that works for the CCG. We want our staff to feel that they work in an environment that is free from bullying and harassment. To demonstrate how we are achieving against these commitments we publish our Workforce Race Equality Standard report on an annual basis and will be broadening the standards we publish against as we become required to do so by law.
The below documents are shared to help you gain a further understanding of how, where and when our equality, diversity and inclusion work has helped to shape our commissioning decisions.