NHS West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (WNCCG) has a duty to remove discrimination and promote equality across all of its functions, including the delivery of services and the CCG's employment practices. As part of this duty, WNCCG is required to develop equality schemes - documents that outline what actions we will take to ensure that individuals, communities and staff are treated equitably.
The Equality Delivery System (EDS)
The EDS Outcomes Framework is a tool that has been designed by the NHS to enable organisations to analyse equality performance with the assistant of local stakeholders, prepare equality objectives and emed quality into mainstream commissioning activities.
In 2012 NHS Norfolk and WNCCG (then in shadow form) adopted the Equality Delivery System (EDS) framework. WNCCG uses the EDS framework as an opportunity to raise equality in service commissioning and performance for the community, patients, carers and staff.
The Equality Act 2010 brings together all previous equality legislations into one single Act, simplifying the law and strenghtening it in important ways to help tackle discriminations and inequality. The Act, which came into force in April 2011, includes a new public sector equality suty replacing the se[arate duties relating to race, disability and gener equality.
The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)
The PSEd requires all public bodies to demonstrate how they have complied with the duty on an annual basis. This means that WNCCG must show compliance with both the general and specific duties of the PSED. The general duty asks organisations to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
- Advance equality of opportunities between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
Protected characteristics 'in the context of the PSED' are defined as:
- Gender reassignment
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Race (this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality)
- Religion or belief (this includes lack of belief)
- Sex (male of female)
- Sexual orientation
- Marriage and Civil Partnerships (but only in the need to eliminate discrimination)
The Equality Act 2010 outlines specific public bodies (of which WNCCG is one) to enable them to perform the Equality Duty more effectively. These specific duties are to:
- Publish information to demonstrate compliance with the general duty at least annually
- Publish one of more equality objectives covering up to a 4 year period by 6 April 2013.