Equality and Diversity
We are committed to commissioning health services in Somerset that are accessible to everyone and do not discriminate on the grounds of a person’s characteristics.
The Equality Act 2010 requires us, like most organisations, to not discriminate or harass anyone on the grounds of the following “Protected Characteristics”:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation.
In addition to the above characteristics, which are protected by law, we also consider other factors relevant to Somerset, such as:
- Military personnel and veterans, and their families
- Rural populations
- Social mobility
- Street and rural homelessness.
The above list is not exhaustive but aims to offer a sense of the wider view that we take when considering the impacts of our services across the communities of the county.
We actively seek to include people from a variety of communities in all aspects of our work. We believe that equality should be embedded in public engagement and vice versa.
What do we do to achieve this?
We believe that in order to embed equality and diversity in our culture, we need to start with a good education across the organisation. We provide access to training for all new starters at the CCG. In addition, we run monthly workshops for all employees of the CCG, Somerset’s NHS Trusts, and other partner organisations, such as charities, nursing homes and community organisations, and members of the public.
We provide free training to GP practices across Somerset in respect of equality and diversity.
Equality Impact Assessments
All employees at the CCG are required to undertake full Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) when designing, changing or decommissioning services within Somerset.
We understand that there are times where a person’s health outcomes will differ on the grounds of certain both the protected characteristics defined in the Equality Act 2010, and other characteristics that a person may have. We work closely with community groups that represent a variety of characteristics to improve this understanding. This close working allows us to gather patient and public experience, which in turn informs our commissioning decisions and quality assurance processes. This activity complements our wider public engagement activity.
We are represented on Somerset’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) Technical Working Group. This enables us to better understand our population and also to know how the populations and their needs are likely to change.
Policies, actions plans and objectives
We have a number of documents which support how we currently meet, and how we intend to continue meeting our duties in respect of equality, diversity and inclusion.