Equality and diversity
We all use the NHS, whether going to see the GP or a nurse, getting advice from a pharmacist or seeing a dentist. To make sure everyone is able to get the best out of NHS services we need to understand who our patients are and what their individual needs are so when they need to access treatment they get the right care and have the best possible experience.
We know that health inequalities exist in Wakefield and that some patients have different access, experience and outcomes when they use the NHS. We want to reduce those differences and remove them entirely where possible.
We will make sure we include equality and inclusion in everything that we do.
We will do this through:
- Thinking about equality and health inequality when we plan and buy services for our communities
- Making sure we actively engage and support all our communities to have a voice in what we do. We will target groups that don’t often get heard to make sure we understand their needs.
- By employing the best staff and supporting them to develop and use the benefits their diversity brings to the organisation
As a public sector body we have to meet our equality duties. To do this we have used the NHS Equality Delivery System for a number of years in partnership with the public and other local NHS organisations. We created an Equality Health Panel to support us and have used what we have learnt to develop our Equality Objectives.
To make sure that the decisions we take make a real, positive difference to the lives of people in Wakefield, when a decision is being made about a potential change to a service, policy or activity an Equality and Health Inequality Impact Assessment (EHIIA) will be completed. We have developed a tool that assesses the need to engage and with which communities and considers quality.
We have implemented the NHS Accessible Information Standard and we support and monitor its use by other local NHS organisations. This means that disabled people with communication needs have these met when they are using the NHS.
To make sure we support our staff to be the best they can be we review the NHS Staff Survey results for equality issues, we work through the Workforce Race Equality Scheme (WRES). We will use the Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) in 2021. We also work with our partners to understand how they are delivering these standards and their Gender Pay Gap reporting.
We work with our patients, the public and partners in a number of ways; we use our Equality Health Panel (EHP), Public Involvement and Patient Experience Committee (PIPEC) and Patient Participation Group Network (PPGN) these groups contribute to, learn from and assess our engagement with the public so that our committees and decision makers understand what our communities think.
Engagement with our communities uses the expertise of the public, patients, service providers and voluntary organisations. Without them we would not be able to shape services that meet the needs of our diverse community.
The involvement and active participation of these stakeholders helps us meet our equality duties by;
- Understanding as projects are developing whether they would have a negative impact on any group or community, how to make services better and make free from discrimination.
- Working with people to understand what accessible looks like to different groups and what we need to do differently or better.
- Bringing people from different communities to work together with those who plan and buy services and make our decisions to help identify solutions to local health challenges.
Our Communications, Engagement and Equality Strategy describes how we will engage and communicate with our community. Its sets out what people can expect from us. Equality is integrated to make sure when we want to communicate and ask for people’s views we do it accessibly and with thought about what people need to understand and get involved. It ensures we are an inclusive organisation actively supporting our communities to get involved.
NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) recognises the importance of a diverse workforce and its legal obligations in terms of reporting and monitoring information around protected characteristics. The reporting that we do highlights the makeup of the current workforce, actions in place to support the equality agenda and current partnership working with the Staff Forum and Trade Union representatives to support future activities.
To make our equality and health inequality ambitions real we need to make sure our staff understand what the issues are and how they have a responsibility to address them. We do this by offering training to our staff and volunteers.
Staff who make decisions about what we do, our Governing Body and committee members and our commissioners are trained to understand their equality duties.
We employed the Consultation Institute to train the developing Primary Care Networks in equality, engagement and communications. We have worked with the National Association for Primary Care to deliver a session on population health management to Primary Care Networks and our public assurance group, Public Involvement and Patient Experience Committee (PIPEC). As one of our volunteers noted:
"I thought this was a good and useful meeting. Many of us went away with a better understanding of the efforts being made to coordinate General Practices working together, in a productive way."
All staff have equality and diversity training on a regular basis.