Equality Impact Assessments
The Trust recognises the vital role it plays in ensuring that health inequalities are identified and eliminated and equity and fairness are core qualities and values to be embedded within the organisation. In accordance with the changes in the public sector duties brought about by the Equality Act 2010, the Trust must demonstrate that the organisation understands and recognises the people within its local communities through collecting and analysing both qualitative and quantitative evidence, which must be used to inform service design and delivery.
Therefore, equality impact assessments (EIA) are considered to be the key to achieving fair and equal access to the healthcare services and employment opportunities the Trust provides and to demonstrate the organisations commitment to advancing equality and eliminating discrimination.
What is an EIA?
An EIA is a process of systematically analysing a proposed service, strategy, policy, function or similar directive to identify what effect or likely effect it may have on the people who come into contact with the organisation, such as service users or employees.
The aims of carrying out the impact assessments are to:
- identify whether people with protected characteristics or communities are excluded from or disadvantaged by any of the services or employment opportunities offered by the Trust;
- ensure that the organisation engages with service users and stakeholders and increases participation through the consultation process;
- ensure staff consider alternative measures that might address any adverse impact;
- promote and embed equality of opportunity in the polices and practices of the organisation;
- help the organisation to fulfil its legal duties under current equality legislation;
- help the organisation to fulfil its mission statement ‘To provide the best care for each patient on every occasion’.
What’s covered by the EIA process?
Strategies, policies and guidelines
EIAs are undertaken on all Trust documents that appear on the Document Management System, including strategies, polices and guidelines, either at the planning stage of a new process or at the review stage of an existing process (usually three years after the initial publication).
For existing services, EIAs are carried out on a 3-year rolling programme. For services undergoing change, EIAs are carried out at prior to the change and will help to design and shape the ‘new’ service.