Equality Impact Assessments
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Equality Impact Assessments What, Why and How. What is it?. An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is a tool aimed at improving the quality of public services by ensuring that individuals and teams think carefully about the likely impact of their work on different communities or groups.

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Equality Impact Assessments What, Why and How

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Equality impact assessments what why and how

Equality Impact Assessments

What, Why and How


What is it

What is it?

  • An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is a tool aimed at improving the quality of public services by ensuring that individuals and teams think carefully about the likely impact of their work on different communities or groups.

  • It involves anticipating the consequences of the Trust’s policies and services on different communities and making sure that any negative impacts are eliminated or minimised and opportunities for promoting equality are maximised.


Negative and positive impact

Negative and Positive Impact

  • A negative impact is an impact that could disadvantage one or more equality groups or communities. This disadvantage may be differential, where the negative impact on one particular group is likely to be greater than on another.

  • A positive impact is an impact that could have a positive effect on one or more equality groups, or improve equal opportunities and /or relationships between communities. This positive impact may be differential, where the positive effect on one particular group of individuals is likely to be greater than on another.


Equality groups

Equality Groups

Broken down by:

  • Gender

  • Disability

  • Race

  • Age

  • Religion / Belief

  • Sexual Orientation


Why do an eia

Why do an EIA?

We need to

  • To appropriately serve our diverse local community, and ensure health and social care services are provided equitably and are genuinely accessible to all.

    We have to

  • All public bodies must undertake impact assessments of their policies and functions, as set out in equalities legislation. Equality Impact Assessments are not optional.

    We want to

  • Equality Impact Assessments actively support the practical delivery of policies and strategies, helping us meet the Healthcare Commission’s Standards for Better Health, CSCI requirements and contribute towards other inspection regimes and partnership arrangements.


Which equalities legislation

Which Equalities Legislation?

  • Race Relations Amendment Act (2000)

  • Disability Equality Duty (2006)

  • Gender Equality Duty (2007)

    (There will be similar requirements for age, sexual orientation and religion/belief over the next two to three years. )


Who might check

Who might check?

  • Commission for Racial Equality

  • Disability Rights Commission

  • Equal Opportunities Commission (to be replaced by the Commission for Equality and Human Rights in Oct 07)

  • Healthcare Commission

  • Commission for Social Care Inspection

  • The Public


When do you do an eia

When do you do an EIA?

  • Developing a new policy, strategy, service or function

  • Reviewing existing policies, strategies, services or functions

  • The PCT Board, Professional Executive Committee or Senior Management Team has identified policies, strategies, services or functions as specifically requiring an EIA.

An impact assessment should be carried out when:


How do you do an eia

How do you do an EIA?

Step 1

Decide who will contribute to the Equality Impact Assessment

Identify the people who will lead and be responsible for undertaking the Equality Impact Assessment and other people or partner organisations who will contribute to the assessment. Try to get a balance of skills and experience as well as mix of staff at different levels. For some (smaller) assessments, it may be easier to have a “virtual team” with one or two people taking responsibility for the review but drawing on the knowledge and expertise of others as and when necessary.

1


How do you do an eia1

How do you do an EIA?

Step 2

Identify your policy or service aims

Only by being clear about the aims of your policy or the focus of your service can you meaningfully assess whether it will have a positive or negative impact on certain groups, and whether this impact will be high medium or low.

2


How do you do an eia2

How do you do an EIA?

Step 3

Carry out an initial assessment of likely impact (screening)

At the screening stage, you should be assessing obvious negative / positive impact or gaps in knowledge about likely impact. It should be a very short process that makes use of previous consultation results, personal knowledge & experience, internal reports, staff with previous experience of similar policies, strategies or services, etc. If there is a lack of data or information concerning a particular area, this should not be a reason to stop the process. If the likely impact on a particular group is unknown then action needs to be taken to acquire this information.

3


How do you do an eia3

How do you do an EIA?

Does this policy/service/function require a full impact assessment?Yes No


How do you do an eia4

How do you do an EIA?

Once the initial screening has been completed, a full assessment is only required if:

  • The impact is potentially discriminatory under equality or anti-discrimination legislation

  • Any equality groups or communities identified as being potentially disadvantaged or negatively impacted by the policy or service

  • The impact is assessed to be of high significance


Equality impact assessments what why and how

Care Management (example)

[+] No specific focus on race. [-] Measures in place e.g. training, interpreters etc. to ensure needs of people from different racial groups are met.

Yes

Low

Low

[+] CM aims to promote choice around gender of workers [-] No gender type is particularly advantaged or disadvantaged

Yes

Med

Low

[+] CM specifically aims to support ill & disabled people [-] Some services are disability specific & are not catered for or funded equally

Yes

High

Med

[+] CM focuses on the specific needs of adults [-] Services are largely organised by age & not all ages have access to the same services

Yes

Med

Med

[+] No specific focus on religion. [-] Some measures in place e.g. training but aware that there is potentially limited local provision for people of different religions and beliefs

Yes

Low

Med

[+] No specific focus on sexual orientation [-] Some measures in place e.g. training, but do not feel sexual orientation has a great impact on care management outcomes.

Yes

Low

Unknown


Equality impact assessments what why and how

Care Management (example)

Does this policy/service/function require a full impact assessment?

Yes No


Equality impact assessments what why and how

No

No

No

No

No

No

Infection Control of Equipment and Wheelchair Services Policy (example)


Equality impact assessments what why and how

Infection Control of Equipment and Wheelchair Services Policy (example)

Does this policy/service/function require a full impact assessment?

Yes No


How do you do an eia5

How do you do an EIA?

Step 4

Consider existing data and research

Exploring the available data and research relevant to the development of the service or policy is a vital part of EIA. For example, patterns and trends data may show that a particular group of people are not accessing a service. Both qualitative and quantitative data can be used (in the right context). This may include service activity, workforce profiles, information from formal audits, consultation exercises (with the public and staff), surveys, information of the local population and census data. Where data by equality group are limited or not available, managers should identify this as a limitation and devise action plans to overcome this (see step 8).

4


How do you do an eia6

How do you do an EIA?

Step 5

Involve and consult relevant stakeholders

EIAs must be informed by consultation. This could include engaging with staff and members, staff associations or trade unions, other public bodies or voluntary and community groups. If relevant and recent consultation data exists which can be analysed by the different equality groups you can use that. If you do not, then you will need to undertake consultation as part of the assessment process. There may be consultation processes or forums already in place, which should be used; however such mechanisms should be representative of the local community.

5


How do you do an eia7

How do you do an EIA?

Step 6

Assess the likely impact on equality

Assessment of the likely impact on equality is found by examining the function or policy, taking into account information gathered, supported by involvement and / or consultation.

If the results of the analysis lead to a finding of potential negative impact and / or unlawful discrimination, the policy or service will need to be revised and any barriers or failings tackled. It may be appropriate to consider alternative ways to achieve the policy or service objectives. It is important to make sure that reducing the negative impact on one particular group does not create a negative impact on another. If this is unavoidable it will be necessary to satisfy that this can be justified on non-discriminatory grounds.

6


How do you do an eia8

How do you do an EIA?

Step 7

Produce an action plan, if required

An implementation plan should be produced, which simply and clearly sets out any actions you have identified as a result of undertaking the EIA. These may include actions that need to be carried out before the EIA can be completed or longer-term actions that will be carried out as part of policy development or service delivery. Actions should be prioritised.

7


How do you do an eia9

How do you do an EIA?

Step 8

Set up monitoring and review arrangements

EIA should not be considered as one-off exercise. The actual impact will only be realised when it has been put into practice and a review date should be planned as practicable to see how the function or policy is working in practice. Checking for and reporting any potential for negative impact in the future is a crucial element of the EIA process. Such exception reporting can be used within existing performance management processes.

8


How do you do an eia10

How do you do an EIA?

Step 9

Sign off the Equality Impact Assessment report and agree the policy/service

It is at this stage of the assessment process that a decision should be made regarding the effectiveness of the policy. The Equality Impact Assessments should be discussed within the team and signed off by the relevant service manager.

9


How do you do an eia11

How do you do an EIA?

Step 10

Publish the results

Publishing results of EIAs show commitment to promoting equality and will also demonstrate that the organisation is carrying out the specific duties of assessing, involvement, consulting and monitoring. Once completed, a copy of the EIA report should be forwarded to the Trust Equality Lead Officer for publication to the Trust’s website in a format that is accessible.

Send to: [email protected]

10


Things to think about

Things to think about

RACE (1)

Does your printed information take account of different languages and cultures and is it easy to understand?

Have you publicised your service among minority ethnic communities by making it available at different appropriate venues as well as visiting them and talking about your service?

Have you decided what core information you need available in other languages?

Do staff know how to access an interpreter for booking appointments or how to access telephone interpreting and where to get advice on material in other languages and formats?

Do you routinely record the language that a person speaks so that you can send them letters in the right language or ring them instead if they can't read?


Things to think about1

Things to think about

RACE (2)

Is there a procedure to record the uptake of interpreting and translated material?

Are assessment materials and methods relevant to people from different cultures?

Do you record the ethnicity of patients so that you know how well your service is being used by people from minority ethnic backgrounds?

How do you ensure staff treat people from minority ethnic backgrounds with respect and dignity?

Have you identified any specific dietary or any religious needs of patients or any other specific requirements that you need to be sensitive to?

Have you considered incorporating race equality objectives in staff appraisal?

How will you mainstream these actions into the core business of your service?


Things to think about2

Things to think about

RELIGION / BELIEF (1)

Is your printed information religiously appropriate / sensitive?

Is your service publicised among various religious communities and groups by making it available at different appropriate venues?

Do you currently record patients' religion in order to assist you in identifying users and non users of your service from various religious backgrounds?

How do you ensure staff treat people from different religions/beliefs/no beliefs with respect and dignity?

Is your service religiously and culturally sensitive to meet the needs of people from various religious backgrounds?

Have you identified any specific dietary or other needs related to a person's religion which you need to be sensitive to?


Things to think about3

Things to think about

RELIGION / BELIEF (2)

Are there any other religious sensitivities you need to bear in mind e.g. when visiting patients at home?

Have you thought about the prayer needs or the need for a quiet space for your patients / residents?

Have you considered obtaining a list of various festivals to be made available to your staff members to avoid arranging appointments / visits etc on any particular religious festivals / days / times?

Have your staff members received training on religion and belief?

Have you considered incorporating religion and belief equality objectives in staff appraisal?

Have you taken into account different religious needs when deciding on the opening times of your service?


Things to think about4

Things to think about

DISABILITY (1)

How do people with disabilities find out about your service?

Does your printed information take account of communication needs of people with various disabilities and is it easy to understand?

Have you decided what core information you need available in large print, audio tape or Braille?

Is your service physically accessible to people with mobility problems or who use a wheelchair?

Do staff s know how to access a sign language interpreter, or an interpreting service for deaf and hearing impaired people), how to use an Induction Loop and where to get advice on material in different formats?

Do you routinely record the communication needs of patients with a disability for referring to when sending out appointments etc?


Things to think about5

Things to think about

DISABILITY (2)

Have you put in place a procedure to record the uptake for sign language interpreters, appointment letters/leaflets in Braille etc?

Is your service religiously and culturally sensitive to meet the needs of disabled people from minority ethnic groups? If not what approaches would you develop to approach this?

Have staff received Disability Awareness Training in general and more specifically in meeting the needs of patients with a learning disability, people with mental health difficulties or people with hearing or sight impairment?

Have you considered incorporating disability equality objectives into staff appraisal?


Things to think about6

Things to think about

AGE (1)

Is it easy for someone of any age to find out about your service and to use your service?

Does your service make assumptions about people simply because of their age?

Does your service give out positive messages about all ages in the leaflets and posters that it uses?

When you are recruiting staff, have you thought about age and how you can recruit from a wide range of age backgrounds?

Do younger and older people in your staff team feel equally valued?

Do you monitor age to make sure that you are serving a representative sample of the population (or representative within your relevant age group)?


Things to think about7

Things to think about

AGE (2)

Do any eligibility criteria for your service discriminate against older or younger people without just cause?

What actions will you take to make sure that your staff treat people of all ages with dignity and respect?

Have you considered including age equality into staff objectives and appraisal?


Things to think about8

Things to think about

GENDER

Is it easier for either men or women to find out about and use your service, for example because of where you display leaflets or your opening times?

If your service is for men and women, do you routinely monitor the uptake of your service with gender breakdown and take appropriate action? E.g. If you find that men are not accessing your services then you may consider improving the way these services are provided to men, possibly by targeting men and providing drop-in clinics at sporting events or workplaces. Similarly you may consider adopting sensitive approaches to target women from different backgrounds as the services may not be appropriate for some women from particularly minority communities.

Have staff received Gender Equality Training?

Have you considered incorporating gender equality objectives in staff appraisal?


Things to think about9

Things to think about

SEXUALITY

Does information about your service use visual images that could be people from any background or are the images mainly heterosexual couples?

Does the language you use in your literature include reference to gay, lesbian and bisexual people?

When carrying out assessments, do you make it easy for someone to talk about their sexuality if it is relevant, or do you assume that they are heterosexual?

Would staff in your workplace feel comfortable about being 'out' or would the office culture make them feel that this might not be a good idea?

Have your staff had training in Sexual Orientation and Equality?

How will you make sure that staff treat lesbian, gay and bisexual people with dignity and respect?

Have you included this area of equality in staff objectives and appraisal?


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