The public sector equality duty consists of a general equality duty, which is set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. This general equality duty came into force on 5 April 2011.
In summary, those subject to the equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and 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
The Act helpfully explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
- Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people
- Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
Due regard (Equality Analysis) is an ongoing proactive process which requires the use of information about the effect our decisions are likely to have on local communities, service users and employees, particularly those who are most vulnerable or at risk or disadvantage.
The new duty covers the following nine protected characteristics for public sector organisations:
- Gender Reassignment
- Pregnancy and Maternity
- Religion or Belief
- Sexual Orientation
- Marriage or Civil Partnership
Whilst it is not a recognised protected characteristic, social deprivation (these factors include mental illness, poverty, poor education and low socioeconomic status) should be considered.
NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group is committed to meeting the Public Sector Equality Duty and will do this in a number of ways including:
- Ensuring all staff understand their duties around Equality and this will be included in all staff job descriptions
- Reporting progress through the EDS2 template every year
- Developing Equality Objectives and reporting progress against delivery
- Ensuring that Equality is considered at every decision making committee through robust cover sheets ensuring that the considerations are highlighted
- Ensuring Due Regard is taken in all decision making through an Equality Impact Assessment
- Supporting staff to understand Equality and how to complete an EIA through one to one and group discussion sessions
- Linking Equality and Quality impacts through a joint panel approval process
- Ensuring all decisions include a reasonable adjustment statement as there is an understanding that there are always exceptions
As an authorised public sector organisation we are required by the Equality Act 2010 and Human Rights Act 1998 to work in ways that ensure equality and inclusion is embedded into all of our functions.
It is the intention of the CCG to eliminate unfair and unlawful discriminatory practices in line with current equality and Human Rights legislation.
There are a number of duties which the CCG must address:
Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)
1. In the exercise of its functions the CCG must have due regard to the need to:
a. Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010
b. Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
c. Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
2. The CCG must prepare and publish one or more equality objectives it thinks it should achieve to support the Public Sector Equality Duty (detailed above). The objectives must be published not later than 31 March and at intervals of not greater than four years. Each objective must be specific and measurable
3. The CCG must publish information, not later than 31 January each year, to demonstrate compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty which is done through the EDS2 template. The information published must relate to persons who share a relevant protected characteristic who are:
a. Its employees (only when employing 150 people or more)
b. Other persons affected by its policies and practices
Publication of Information
NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG became an authorised public sector organisation in April 2019, in line with the reorganisation of the NHS brought about by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
The level of detail to the information that is currently available to demonstrate how the CCG is complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) continues to be improved.
In meeting the duty to publish information the CCG has collected the following evidence which should provide an understanding of how the CCG is approaching equality and inclusion in its activities.
The CCG is implementing the NHS EDS2 reporting framework to support it in meeting the requirements of the PSED.
The Equality Delivery System (EDS)
The Equality Delivery System (EDS) is a system that helps NHS organisations improve the services they provide for their local communities and provide better working environments, free of discrimination, for those who work in the NHS, while meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. The EDS was developed by the NHS, for the NHS, taking inspiration from existing work and good practice. It was launched in 2011 with an updated version (EDS2 launched in 2013)
Background to the EDS
The EDS was first launched for the NHS in November 2011. In November 2012, Shared Intelligence published their report ‘Evaluation of the equality delivery system for the NHS’ which looked at how the EDS had been adopted across NHS organisations. Based on this evaluation and subsequent engagement with the NHS and key stakeholders, a refreshed EDS – known as EDS2 – was made available in November 2013.
A review of the EDS2 was undertaken to incorporate system changes and take account of the new system architecture for Integrated Care Systems. Through collaboration and co-production and taking into account the impact of COVID-19, the EDS has been updated and EDS 2022 is now available for live testing during 2022/23.
The main purpose of the EDS was, and remains, to help local NHS systems and organisations, in discussion with local partners and local populations, review and improve their performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010. By using the EDS 2022, NHS organisations can also be helped to deliver on the Public Sector Equality Duty.
EDS 2022 is aligned to NHS England’s Long term Plan and its commitment to an inclusive NHS that is fair and accessible to all.
In Derbyshire one of our providers of Healthcare for Derby and Derbyshire, Derbyshire Community Health Services, has been an integral part of the piloting of the new EDS process and therefore has offered support and guidance in this new process. We would like to take this opportunity to thank DCHS.
Derbyshirewide Equality Objectives 2018-2020
Prior to merging on 1 April 2019, the four Derbyshire CCG leads set four Derbyshire-wide objectives for the next two years to be delivered at a CCG or place level in the context of existing projects/work.
Due to the progress made with the objectives 2018-2019, the CCG has set three new objectives to be delivered over the next three years.