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Equality and Diversity

Promoting equality is at the heart of NHS Wirral CCG values, so ensuring that we commission services that are appropriate and accessible. No community or group should be disadvantaged or discriminated against by the services we put in place to improve health outcomes. This means that everyone on Wirral should have equal access to NHS information, services and Buildings.

We work internally and in partnership with our Providers, community and voluntary sector and other key organisations to ensure that we meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

At NHS Wirral CCG, we know that not all people access or take up services in the same way, and we want to try to take reasonable steps to accommodate these different needs, particularly for vulnerable protected groups. We annually publish an Equality and Inclusion Annual Report (see link to latest report below) to show what we are doing to routinely collect equality data and use this information to ensure that our services and employment opportunities are fair and accessible to all.

Under the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector General Equality Duty, we must publish information to demonstrate that, in the exercise of the CCG’s functions, it has ‘due regard’ (gives early consideration) to

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
  • Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not

The Equality Act 2010 requires us to meet our Public Sector Equality Duty across a range of protected groups including age, gender, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion/belief, gender identity, marital/civil partnership status and pregnancy/maternity status. 

It is against the law to discriminate against someone because of any of these characteristics. NHS Wirral CCG is aware that it cannot discriminate because of these characteristics either through our decisions or how we manage our staff.

The CCG understands that at some points in our lives we may face barriers in relation to accessing health services or experience different outcomes. NHS Wirral CCG want to make a difference to health outcomes across our diverse communities and our equality objectives will support us to do this. 

We are currently reviewing our equality objectives and developing a new Equality Strategy which will be published on the website in September 2017: 

The CCG is working hard to ensure not only that our services are appropriate and accessible for all members of our community, but that no one is disadvantaged or discriminated against by the services we put in place.

Equality impact and risk assessments of key healthcare changes:

In order to achieve the aims of the General Equality Duty described above, the CCG must demonstrate that it has a good understanding of the impact that policies, strategies, programmes, services and practice have on people with different protected characteristics. An important way we do this is through the collection, analysis and scrutiny of equality information, including information on engagement with people from protected characteristics where relevant. Such consultation and engagement with local vulnerable and patient groups provides an opportunity for Wirral CCG to consider any feedback received and any potential negative impact from changes under early stage consideration


Measuring our equality and diversity progress

Implementing the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) is a requirement for NHS commissioners and NHS provider organisations.

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council announced on 31 July 2014 that it had agreed action to ensure employees from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.

In April 2015, after engaging and consulting with key stakeholders including other NHS organisations across England, the WRES was mandated. WRES has been part of the NHS standard contract, starting in 2015/16 and included in the 2016/17 NHS standard contract. The first is a Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES), which means organisations are required for the first time to demonstrate progress against nine metrics. Four of these metrics are specifically focused on workforce data and another four are based on data gathered from the national NHS staff survey.  The staff survey information will highlight any differences between the experience and treatment of white staff and BME staff in the NHS.  The final metric requires NHS provider organisations to ensure their boards are broadly representative of the communities they serve.

Alongside WRES, NHS organisations use the Equality and Diversity Systems (EDS2) to help in discussion with local partners including local populations, review and improve their performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010. By using the EDS2 and the WRES, NHS organisations can also be helped to deliver on the Public Sector Equality Duty.

The mandated NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS) is the NHS England equality performance framework which requires CCGs (and their provider partners) to produce evidence of how local people from protected groups fare in healthcare compared to people in general.  We hold an annual public grading with trained patient and carer representatives from local communities of interest, who scrutinise and grade the CCG’s evidence, with an annual public dashboard of scores displayed on the CCG website.

Accessible Information Standard

Wirral CCG is committed to meeting NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard. The Accessible Information Standard is a legal duty placed on all organisations providing NHS or adult social care. It ensures that people who use our services, patients, service users and their carers and parents as well as members of the public:

  • have access to information in a way they can understand; and
    • receive any communication support they need

The Accessible Information Standard tells us how to support people’s communication needs, for example by offering support from a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate. It also ensures that we provide people with information in different formats if they need it, such as large print, braille, easy read or email.

This means that when we speak or communicate with you we will:

  • Ask if you have any communication needs
  • Record those needs in a clear way
  • Highlight them in our record of the correspondence
  • Share your needs with appropriate organisations
  • Act to make sure you receive the information you need in a format you can understand

If you would like to learn more about the Accessible Information Standard, please visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/accessibleinfo/

Modern Slavery Act 2015 Background

At the end of March 2015, the Modern Slavery Act, a piece of landmark legislation, came onto the statute. The main thrust of the Act focuses on illegal activity in the UK; however, the legislation also looks at the potential for slavery down the supply chain outside of the UK. The Act has direct implications for businesses operating in any sector in the UK.

A key element of the Act is the ‘Transparency in Supply Chains’ provision. Businesses above a certain threshold are required to produce a ‘Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement,’ outlining what steps they have taken in their supply chain and own business to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place.

Who does the Act apply to?

  1. a) A body corporate (wherever incorporated) which carries on a business, or part of a business, in any part of the United Kingdom, or
  2. b) A partnership (wherever formed) which carries on a business, or part of a business in any part of the United Kingdom.

The Government’s Consultation

Following the passing of the Act, the UK Government entered a period of consultation with industry and interested parties which ended on 7th May 2015. The consultation process sought views on the turnover threshold that would determine whether or not a company has to report as well as what guidance is required to help businesses understand what a slavery and human trafficking statement might include.

summary of the consultation was published by the Home Office on 29th July 2015. The document summarises key findings from the responses to the consultation and more specifically provides details of:

  • The threshold for reporting on the ‘Transparency in Supply Chains’ clause.
    • Initial views on the content of the statutory guidance that the Government are compiling which is due for publication late 2015.

Threshold for reporting

Following the consultation, the turnover threshold for reporting has been set at £36million. Companies above this threshold will be obliged to report as detailed in the ‘Modern Slavery and Supply Chains – Government Response.’
“all commercial organisations carrying on business in the UK with a total turnover of £36m or more will be required to complete a slavery and trafficking statement for each financial year of the organisation.”

The aim of this measure is to encourage businesses to do the right thing and to drive transparency as companies’ statements are published, scrutinised and compared.

Click here to access the Modern Slavery Act 2015 Statement 

For further information or if you have any queries please contact: 

Lorna Quigley – Director of Quality & Patient Safety (Lead for Equality & Diversity) 

Lorna.quigley@nhs.net  - 0151 651 0011