The Equality Act 2010 provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity. The scope of the Act includes employment practices and the provision of services.
The Act protects people from unreasonable unfavourable treatment and discrimination because of the following protected characteristics
· Age including specific ages and age groups
· Gender re-assignment
· Marriage and civil partnership
· Pregnancy and maternity
· Race – this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
· Religion or belief – including lack of belief
· Sexual orientation
The Public Sector Equality Duty (Section 149 of the Act) is designed to ensure that fairness is at the core of public services and that they meet the needs of groups and people with protected characteristics. Regulations which came into force in September 2011 set out the requirement for public bodies to publish information annually (by 31st January 2012 and thereafter) to show compliance with the Equality Duty.
The information published must include information relating to employees who share protected characteristics and information relating to people (service users) who are affected by the CCGs policies and practices and who share protected characteristics.
We publish that information on a separate page of this website, here. We use this information to help us decide what to include in our equality and diversity action plan. Our next equality and diversity action plan will be published in March 2016.
We do not directly provide services but do commission (buy) health services for residents of Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Council areas from a range of healthcare providers. The providers that we commission services from are required to meet the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) and we are expected to monitor them. Although we do not directly provide services, we are required by the PSED to make sure that we have policies and procedures in place to ensure that the way that we commission services ensure that equality and diversity is considered as part of how we make decisions on what services to buy. We do this through, for example, the use of equality impact assessments, to consider the possible effect of our proposals on the different equality groups, and by ensuring that our consultation and engagement work includes relevant equality groups.
As part of meeting the PSED, we are expected to publish annual staff equality data. The 2017 Workforce Information Report was published in January 2017 2016.
We use the NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS2) to help us show how we are meeting the needs of residents. In December 2015 we undertook our first EDS2 assessment. On a scale of undeveloped-developing-achieving-excelling, we scored at developing.