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Evaluating equality

What is an equality analysis?

It is a tool to help assess the impact of a Trust policy, service or function on different communities or groups. It replaces equality impact assessments. Equality analysis make sure that an individual or team thinks carefully about the likely impact of their work on people from different communities; be they colleagues, patients or anyone else who is likely to interact with the relevant service.

By anticipating the consequences of the Trust’s policies and services on people from different backgrounds and from different communities, we can minimise or even eliminate the likelihood of negative consequences and make sure that opportunities for promoting equality and equity are maximised.

Why do we carry out an equality analysis?

By looking closely at the possible effects of a policy, service or function, in relation to people from different backgrounds and communities, we are able to make sure that the Trust’s facilities, functions and processes are equally accessible, non-discriminatory and offer equity to all our staff, patients and the public.

This makes sure that we provide the best possible services and are compliant with KCHFT’s and NHS strategies and frameworks, including our Values, CQC Essential Standards, The NHS Constitution, Equality Delivery System and ultimately, Equality Legislation, namely The Equality Act 2010, which lays out Public Sector EqualityDuty.

Under the Equality Act, 2010, nine characteristics were officially recognised as requiring protection from discrimination under law.

These are known as protected characteristics and they are:

  1. age
  2. disability
  3. gender reassignment
  4. marriage and civil partnership
  5. pregnancy and maternity
  6. race
  7. religion or belief
  8. sex
  9. sexual orientation.

It is primarily these characteristics that we consider when we carry out an equality analysis. It is important that we also consider:

  • deprivation
  • dignity and human rights

Adding these elements, while not required under legislation, recognises that some individuals and communities experience disadvantage or discrimination for a range of reasons not directly related to the more conventional dimensions of equality, It makes sure that our policies, services and functions are robust and suitable for the future.

The Equality Act, 2010 outlines what are known as public sector equality duties. They relate to how public bodies, such as the NHS, deal with people and issues relating to the act and people covered under the descriptions of the nine protected characteristics. We, as an NHS organisation, must show due regard to the need to:

  1. eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the act
  2. advance equalityequality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
  3. foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

These are often referred to as the three aims of the general equality duty. Under the second of these – advancing equality of opportunity – we must show due regard to the need to:

  • remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
  • take steps to meet the needs of people with certain protected characteristics, where these are different from the needs of other people
  • encourage people with certain protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.