The Equality Act 2010 specifically requires public organisations to:
- Prepare and publish equality objectives by 6 April 2012, and monitor and review information at least every four years after that
- Ensure that the objectives are specific and measurable, and set out how progress towards the objectives will be measured
- Publish details of engagement in developing the equality objectives also at least every four years, and in line with publication of objectives
- Consider its published equality information before preparing and publishing these objectives
- Publish the objectives in a reasonably accessible format.
The Bradford and Airedale NHS Equality Group met in February 2012 to agree Equality Objectives, in respect of health inequalities impacting upon individuals across all protected characteristics. These objectives arose from information presented to the Equality Delivery System assessment panels in respect of health inequalities across all protected characteristics.
The information presented to members of the panels resulted in developing action plans which were outcome-focused in addressing targets towards improving employment and service outcomes for patients and staff. Undertaking this exercise also helped in “stocktaking” – as to what practical actions needed to be undertaken in addressing major equality issues.
The Heads of Equality across the District looked at existing evidence of our performance against the four EDS goals. Between January and March 2012, members of the Bradford and Airedale NHS Equality Group sat on Panels to consider the evidence and assess the grades for the four Trusts. The Panels amended the self-assessments based on additional evidence presented and through benchmarking with the other Trusts.
From the various meeting with the panel members, The Bradford and Airedale NHS Equality agreed Equality Objectives for each organisation. Some of these objectives will be worked on jointly and the some the Trust will lead on individually. The collective Equality Objectives are:
|Objective one – Improve EDS grades year on year:|
|The EDS Panels involved local interests and provided a useful baseline description assessing our strengths and weaknesses. All four Trusts will work jointly on at least the following:
It was identified that all Trusts focus more on evidence of impact than evidence of activity
|Objective two – Improve EDS process, year on year:|
|We need to improve the involvement of protected groups who have been under-represented in the Bradford and Airedale NHS Equality Group. Specifically we will:
|Objective three – Ensure that services better meet the needs of trans people:|
|Across all four Trusts, and all four EDS goals, the protected group with the lowest Equality Delivery System grades are for transgender people. Bradford District Care Trust has developed a policy and provided staff training. Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust has been involved in a regional group developing a protocol for the provision of hospital services to trans people, which we will be consulting on shortly.We recognise that we do not have sufficient information about the health needs and experiences of trans people and need to work to make NHS services more welcoming and inclusive of trans service users.
|Objective four – Make information more accessible – to better meet needs of visually impaired people, Deaf people and people with language / literacy issues:|
|A strong theme of the additional evidence submitted by EDS Panel members has been the inaccessibility of much NHS information to visually impaired people, Deaf people and people from the Gypsy, Traveller & Roma communities and people with literacy / languages issues.|
|Objective five – Improve the access and experience of BME patients and service users:|
|Evidence from the GP patient survey, from focus groups and interviews with Muslim people using palliative care services and BME people using maternity services and from the mental health reading of rights audit show poor experiences and lower levels of satisfaction amongst BME people.|
|Objective six – Reduce inequality experienced by BME staff and applicants:|
|Evidence of the significantly lower proportions of BME job applicants who are shortlisted and of BME interviewees who are appointed in all our Trusts, the disproportionate representation of BME staff in disciplinary hearings in some of our Trusts and the lower levels of BME staff satisfaction in the staff survey for some of our Trusts all indicate that this needs to be a priority.|
|Objective seven – Increase the diversity of Trust / CCG boards / boards of governors and their understanding of equality issues:|
|Evidence gathered at the request of our goal four assessment Panel shows that our boards are not representative of local communities.|
|Objective eight – Determine whether people from protected groups are disadvantaged by the Complaints process:|
|As some concerns were raised by Panel members that the system is not as accessible to all protected groups BTHFT will initially lead on this work within the District partnership. Information gained from this work will be disseminated across the other Trusts ( as models of Good Practice), as currently for most Trusts it is not possible to disaggregate different groups’ experiences of using the complaints systems.The Equality Leads across the district will agree work streams, milestones and impact measures which will be discussed and agreed at the June meeting of Bradford and Airedale Equality Group and will be included here after that.