Warrington CCG and Halton CCG are committed to ensuring equality and inclusion is a priority when planning and commissioning healthcare services in our region.
We have a range of processes that demonstrate our commitment to commissioning services that are appropriate and accessible for all members of our community and that meet equality and human rights legislation.
Health inequalities are differences in health outcomes and can be related to social and economic factors, such as poverty, age, race and education. Health inequalities are unfair and preventable. Through our commissioning, we aim to reduce health inequalities and meet the needs of our communities.
Further information about how we commission to reduce health inequalities can be found on the NHS England webpage.
There is a range of equality and human rights legislation that we need to give ‘due regard’ to in our decision making. The main legislation is the Equality Act 2010, together with the Public Sector Equality Duty 2011 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
Specifically, the Public Sector Equality Duty (section 149 of the Equality Act) requires us to show ‘due regard’ to these three aims:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
- Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
The CCG has a process through which we ensure that we give consideration to the impact of commissioning decisions for groups protected under the equality act, these are:
- Sex (Gender)
- Religion and Belief
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Reassignment
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Marriage and Civil Partnership
We also give due regard to additional groups, such as:
- Rural Communities
- Sex Workers
- Asylum Seekers and Refugees
- Deprived Communities
- Military Veterans
The duty also requires us to publish annual equality information on our progress in equality objectives and goals, workforce information and accessible information. We proactively work towards meeting these requirements through our annual Equality and Inclusion Annual Report. You can find our most recent equality and inclusion annual reports below.
How we embed equality within our work
As a CCG our staff have a high level of awareness of Equality issues. We have a range of support to promote the equality agenda including staff training, staff network and our Health Forum group.
Equality Champions (below content for Warrington CCG only)
We have trained seven of our staff to be our Equality Champions.
Their role is to promote a better understanding of equality and diversity within the workforce, and champion the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) process. Another key aspect of their role is communicating key messages to other staff within their teams. They provide representation for meetings, input into EIAs and embedding equality into the CCGs' daily work.
Our champions are based within different teams such as Commissioning, Engagement and Communications, Contracts, Admin Support and Governance.
Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs)
An EIA is a template we use to collate and record information to help identify impacts of decisions on different communities. We use EIAs to demonstrate how we meet the duties of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). The process helps meet our legal requirement, but it is also a way for us to evaluate how services may impact both negatively and positively on those who use them. The EIA process is embedded within our commissioning decisions and has governance oversight. We use EIAs in the following activities:
- Policy development and review
- Service planning, review and re-design
- Projects and work programmes
- Commissioning and procurement
Our EIA process benefits from involvement from our Health Forum group. Completed EIAs are available to the public on request.
How we promote equality as an employer
Our Equality and Inclusion Strategy outlines our approach to equality, diversity and human rights. The strategy provides us direction to improve our equality performance as an employer and commissioner. It sets out our commitment to adhere to our statutory obligations, ensuring compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty and the Human Rights Act. It also highlights the national and local drivers that will shape and influence our approach and commitment to valuing the diversity of service users and employees.
The strategy also guides us in the delivery of our organisational vision, values and principles. This includes ensuring that our local services are transformed through meaningful engagement and partnership working with our patients, carers, local communities, local authorities, the voluntary, charity and faith sector and provider organisations.
Our strategy is supported by a range of Human Resource Policies and procedures in place to support staff.
Equality Delivery System (EDS)
The EDS was developed to help NHS organisations review and improve their equality performance. We undertake EDS annually, and follow NHS England guidance to involve local stakeholder groups. The CCGs are graded on the following EDS goals:
1. Better health outcomes
2. Improve patient access and experience
3. A represented and supported workforce
4. Inclusive leadership
Workplace Race Equality Standard (WRES)
NHS England introduced the WRES in 2015 to improve and address issues of discrimination and poor experiences within the NHS workforce. We submit annual data on our workforce relating to ethnic background and experiences. The WRES requires us to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators to improve the experience of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) workforce. Our WRES action plan aims to address the needs of BAME staff and promote equality of opportunity regardless of background. Implementation of the WRES is a requirement for CCGs. We carry out an annual audit for this standard for our providers.
Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)
The WDES, like the Workforce Race Equality Standard, requires progress to be demonstrated against a number of indicators. The WDES enables NHS organisations to compare the workplace and career experiences of disabled and non-disabled staff. Current reporting is only required from NHS hospital trusts and foundation trusts. We carry out an annual audit for this standard for our providers.
Accessible Information Standard
The Accessible Information Standard aims to make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss get information that they can access and understand, and any communication support that they need from health and care services. The Standard tells organisations how they should make sure that patients and service users, and their carers and parents, can access and understand the information they are given. This includes making sure that people get information in accessible formats. Our CCG’s carry out an annual audit for our providers and regularly seek assurance through contract monitoring that communication needs of patients and their carers are being met.
Modern Slavery Act 2015 statement
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement Halton CCG and Warrington CCG:
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduced changes in UK law focused on increasing transparency in supply chains, to ensure that supply chains are free from modern slavery (that is, slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking). As both local leaders in commissioning health care services for the population of Halton and as employers, Halton CCG and Warrington CCG provide the following statement to provide assurance of its commitment to, and efforts to, prevent slavery and human trafficking practices in the supply chain and employment practices.
The Governing Body, Senior Management Team and all employees are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in any part of our business activity and in so far as is possible to holding our suppliers to account to do likewise.
Our policies such as Harassment and Bullying policy, Equality and Diversity policy and Whistleblowing policy provide an additional platform for our employees to raise concerns about poor working practices.
Our Safeguarding policies also provide guidance in relation to managing potential cases of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking for employees.
Our procurement approach follows the Crown Commercial Service standard.
When procuring goods and services, we apply NHS Terms and Conditions (for nonclinical procurement) and the NHS Standard Contract (for clinical procurement). Both require suppliers to comply with relevant legislation.
During 2020/21, we will continue to raise awareness of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 internally and as part of all procurement processes we will request all providers to set out evidence of their plans and arrangements to prevent slavery in their activities and supply chain.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 March 2021.
Contact our Equality and Inclusion Team