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An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is a way to assess the impact of new or existing policies/services on particular groups of people, to find out if there is a positive or negative outcome and make reasonable changes where possible. It is an opportunity to identify possible disadvantages, decide if they are discriminatory and the extent to which discrimination can be eliminated, minimised or justified.

We also use EIAs as a way of ensuring that we are meeting our legal duties in respect of equality.  All staff are required to undertake an EIA where they are implementing a new service, making changes to services or decommissioning a service.  This process is supported by the Quality team and all employees are offered training on meeting equality duties, which includes assessing and mitigating negative impacts.  View further information on our equality training.

We have adopted the joint EIA template and guidance that was created by Somerset’s NHS organisations and, County and District Councils.  The template and associated guidance can be downloaded from Somerset County Council’s website using the links below:

Data sources

In order to better understand the populations that might be impacted by changes to services, we use a variety of data sources.  Below are some examples of data sources that we regularly use to assess the populations and demographics within Somerset.  Data sources are not designed to replace public engagement on changes but enable us to understand which group we might need to proactively work with.

Somerset Intelligence

Somerset Intelligence is a local resource operated by Somerset County Council.  It provides a large amount of population data and demographic profiles at Ward and District Council levels. Visit Somerset Intelligence’s website.

NOMIS

The NOMIS dataset is part of the Office for National Statistics.  It provides access to Census data for the UK along with other datasets as a result of research projects, such as LGBT estimates, Department for Work and Pension data, and many more.  View the various data sources available through NOMIS.

DataShine

The DataShine website allows us to create “heat maps” of various demographic data.  It provides an interactive map allowing you to zoom into a particular area and visualise where different characteristics or community groups are most prevalent. Begin working with DataShine.

Public Health – Fingertips

Public Health England provides a variety of profiles showing indicators across a wide variety of topics.  These include both health and social care topics.  In many cases, the profiles allow comparisons with other areas, be those neighbouring areas or areas of similar makeup.  View the various profiles available.