Equality Impact Assessments (Due Regard)
To deliver the PSED requirement of giving ‘due regard’ public bodies (such as the Trust) need to actively examine its current and proposed practices [i.e. services] and policies to ensure that they are not discriminatory or otherwise unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.
Public bodies need to obtain relevant data about the people who do or may access the services they provide and the workforce that provides them. They need a robust process to analyse this data to provide information that can be used to enable them to give ‘due regard’ in planning and decision making and keep a record of how they have done this. The courts have set out Six Principles for giving ‘due regard’ which are available on the Due Regard Principles page.
Prior to 2010 public bodies were required by the legislation to undertake and publish Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) to demonstrate that they were giving due regard in decision making. As such the Trust published completed EIAs on its website to demonstrate it was giving ‘due regard’ and so that they were accessible to the public. Some of the EIAs were made available as separate documents; others were posted on the website as an integral part of the policy they referred to.
Whilst they are no longer a requirement under the Equality Act 2010 the Trust has decided to continue to use EIAs to underpin its decision making and policy processes and to provide evidence of due regard. As such, in 2015 we revised the EIA framework and guidance; a copy is available here: EIA Framework 2016 [pdf] 287KB
Meeting the Challenge
The Trust is continuing to engage with communities as part of a planning process which proposes a major change to the way we deliver hospital and community services across North Kirklees and the Wakefield District. Information about this programme can be found on the Meeting the Challenge website.
This website is available to all our stakeholders and especially the public who may be affected, so that they can have access to the relevant information about the proposed changes.
In delivering this programme the Trust is working together with the relevant Clinical Care Groups (CCGs), , to examine the potential impact for the different groups within the communities we serve that may be affected by the proposals. The aim of this collaboration is to inform decision making around how services may be changed and how they may be delivered to best effect for the different communities involved.
One of the fruits of this work was an Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) which was published in 2014 and is available on the Meeting the Challenge website at www.meetingthechallenge.co.uk/documents/making-the-case-for-change-evidence/
The IIA provides a comprehensive analysis of related issues for the different groups within the communities affected by the programme of change, providing Health, Equalities and Transport Impact Assessments. The IIA is a source of reference for decision makers, patients and the wider public and provides the evidence that the Trust is continuing to give ‘due regard’ to the needs of protected groups, in line with its Public Sector Equality Duty, as it goes about its business.
General information about health related issues for the types of communities in Mid Yorkshire, used to inform the IIA, was obtained from national research and audits available via the internet. Specific information about the health needs of the populations in Wakefield and North Kirklees was obtained from the respective Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) reports for the two areas available on the relevant local authority websites.
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