Bedfordshire CCG is committed to designing and implementing policies and procedures, and commissioning services that meet the diverse needs of our local population and workforce, ensuring that no one is placed at a disadvantage over others.
Our equality and diversity strategy sets out our approach to reducing health inequalities across Bedfordshire. However, in line with national directive, Bedfordshire CCG is working towards becoming one organisation with Luton CCG and Milton Keynes CCG. The current strategy is, therefore, being extended while we work together to develop a single approach to equality and reducing health inequalities.
The CCG published its EDS2 report in 2016. This report sets out the CCG’s commitment, key actions and annual progress update. Previous reports can also be found in the relevant section below. Each report includes an update on progress against the Equality Delivery System 2 (EDS2) framework and the CCG’s Equality Objectives. The CCG has set its own five-year plan following the NHS Five Year Forward View. This strategy, combined with the CCG’s Equality Commitment, details our intention to place equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights at the heart of what we do. By doing so, the CCG ensures the best possible outcomes for the local community, CCG staff and those seldom heard groups who experience health inequalities.
The CCG has an obligation to understand and take action to reduce health inequalities for the population it serves as required under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
In April 2014 BCCG’s executive team agreed the following equality objectives, as required by the Equality Act 2010 and in response to the publication of data relating to staff and health inequalities in Bedfordshire. These objectives set the strategic focus for the CCG’s work on equality and diversity over the next four years. Setting such a focus enables greater accountability and clarity on where the CCG expects to go. Subsequently these have been extended until 2021.
Key Equality Objective patients:
Addressing Health Inequalities
By 2021 to reduce the proportion of women in Bedfordshire who cannot speak English and report not being in good health from 50% to 30%
Other Objectives to be considered:
Workforce equality objective:
These objectives should be seen in context with and as part of the CCG’s Equality Strategy.
Meeting our equality and health inequalities legal duties
CCGs and NHS England play key roles in addressing equality and health inequalities – as commissioners, employers and local and national system leaders – in creating high quality care for all.
CCGs and NHS England have two separate key duties, one on equality and one on health inequalities. Both require informed consideration by decision makers, but it is important to appreciate that they are two distinct duties.
Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)
As an authorised public sector organisation, Bedfordshire CCG is 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 its 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:
1. In the exercise of its functions Bedfordshire 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 at intervals of not greater than four years and each objective must be specific and measurable.
3. The CCG must publish information, not later than 30 March each year, to demonstrate compliance with the PSED. 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
The characteristics which are protected under the Equality Act 2010 are:
Health inequalities duty
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 introduced the first legal duties on addressing health inequalities, with specific duties on NHS England and CCGs. Under the Act, Bedfordshire CCG has duties to:
More information about meeting the equality and health inequalities legal duties can be found here https://www.england.nhs.uk/about/equality/equality-hub/legal-duties/.
Annual equality reporting (including Equality Delivery System2 (EDS2)
The EDS was developed as a product by the Equality and Diversity council of the NHS Commissioning Board (now NHS England). More information about the EDS can be found here. https://www.england.nhs.uk/about/equality/equality-hub/eds/.
The Equality Act 2010 requires NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to publish information annually which demonstrates the progress being made by CCGs against equality, inclusion and human rights.
The goals and outcomes of EDS2
EDS Goal 1: Better Health outcomes for all
EDS Goal 2: Improved patient access and experience
EDS Goal 3: Empowered, engaged and well support staff
EDS Goal 4: Inclusive Leadership for all levels
Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)
The NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard has been in place for a number of years and places obligations on both commissioners and providers of services. CCGs and provider organisations are required to publish an annual date template showing outcomes for White and BME staff and develop action plans to address any issues that emerge. The CCG is also required to monitor and assure itself that those organisations providing services on its behalf have met their duties.
The CCG’s reporting template and action plans can be found below:
The WRES technical guidance document and all other WRES resources are available via the following link. Further information can be found by following the link here to the NHS England WRES webpage. http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/gov/equality-hub/equality-standard/.
Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WRES)
The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of ten specific measures that will enable NHS organisations to compare the experiences of disabled and non-disabled staff. This information will then be used to develop a local action plan and enable NHS organisations to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality. The WDES came into force across NHS trusts and foundation trusts on 1 April 2019 and is restricted to those organisations for the first two years.
The implementation of the WDES will enable NHS organisations to better understand the experiences of their disabled staff. It will support positive change for existing employees and enable a more inclusive environment for disabled people working in the NHS. Like the Workforce Race Equality Standard on which the WDES is in part modelled, it will also allow Bedfordshire CCG to identify good practice. More information about the WDES can be found here. https://www.england.nhs.uk/about/equality/equality-hub/wdes/
List of documents available on Bedfordshire CCG’s website