Why inclusion matters
The NHS is for everyone. Anyone needing the NHS should receive the same high quality care every time they receive services. However, we know that some people in our communities can experience barriers or judgement when using NHS services.
Tees Valley CCG is committed to identifying, understanding and overcoming these barriers. This will ensure the way we work and the services we commission are aware of, value diversity and respond inclusively to cultural, physical and social differences. All of our strategies and plans must always consider how all groups in the Tees Valley will be affected.
Our Legal Duties
The Equality Act became law in 2010 and covers everyone in Britain. It protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation because of the protected characteristics that we all have. Under the Equality Act, there are nine protected characteristics:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
As a CCG we recognise the problems that people offered protection under the Act could face including language barriers, support to access services or stigma regarding accessing mental health services. Understanding people’s needs helps us as commissioners ensure we can tailor our commissioning to be accessible and safe.
As a public sector organisation, we are required to embed equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights into all activities.
To do this, we must demonstrate our commitment to:
- eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- advancing equality of opportunity
- promoting good relations
We understand that our organisation and employees should:
- work towards removing or minimising disadvantages
- take steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people
- encourage people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
Our aim is to uphold these aims and to reduce gaps, and where possible prevent gaps, between those with the best health in our communities and those experiencing poor health; this is known as reducing health inequalities.
NHS Equality Delivery System
The Equality Delivery System 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.
Using four key goals CCGs are required to gather evidence of good equality outcomes for local protected groups and health inequality groups. The Equality Delivery System also helps us to agree our equality objectives.
By eliminating prejudice and discrimination, the NHS can deliver services that are personal, fair and diverse and a society that is healthier and happier. For the NHS, this means making it more accountable to the patients it serves and tackling discrimination in the work place.
NHS Tees Valley CCG Equality Objectives
The Equality Act 2010 outlines specific duties on public bodies such as CCGs, to meet the Public Sector Equality Duty more effectively. These specific duties are to:
- Publish information to demonstrate their compliance with the Equality Duty at least annually
- Set equality objectives at least every four years
We develop equality objectives to review and improve our performance and outcomes for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010. Our objectives and action plan are developed through partnering with local stakeholders using the Equality Delivery Systems process.
We are awaiting the launch of the new EDS3 and will then set and share new equality objectives for the Tees Valley CCG.
Until then we will continue to progress actions developed previously in our localities. You can find the equality objections and strategies from our predecessor CCGs on our legacy page.
Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)
CCGs are required to participate in the national Workforce Race Equality Standard data return. The main purpose of the WRES as outlined by NHS England is to:
- help local, and national, NHS organisations (and other organisations providing NHS services) to review their data against the nine WRES indicators
- produce action plans to close the gaps in workplace experience between white and Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) staff, and,
- improve BME representation at the Board level of the organisation
The nine indicators cover recruitment and pay; access to training; disciplinary; discrimination, bullying and harassment and Governing Body membership.
Tees Valley CCG is committed to being an inclusive employer and commissioner and we recognise that there is currently underrepresentation of the communities that we serve within our workforce.
In addition to the work we have identified to continue to improve compliance with the Workforce Race Equality Standards, the work we have identified to implement the NHS People Plan will also support us on our journey to offer an inclusive workplace with representation across our staff from the communities we serve.
The NHS People Plan sets out practical actions for NHS employers and local health and care systems to support people working in health and care and grow the future workforce. It includes specific commitments around:
- Looking after our people – with quality health and wellbeing support for everyone
- Belonging in the NHS – with a particular focus on tackling the discrimination that some staff face
- New ways of working and delivering care – making effective use of the full range of people’s skills and experience
- Growing for the future – how we recruit and keep people, and welcome back colleagues who want to return
Here is the action that we will take to deliver the NHS People Plan to make Tees Valley CCG a good place to work, and one that is more reflective of our local population.