The CCG aims to influence a personal, fair and diverse health system, where everyone counts and the values of the NHS Constitution are brought to life.
Equality is not about treating everyone the same; it is about ensuring that access to opportunities are available to all by taking account of people’s differing needs and capabilities.
Diversity is about recognising and valuing differences through inclusion, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial origin, religion, belief, sexual orientation, commitments outside of work, part-time or shift work, language, union activity, HIV status, perspectives, opinions and person value.
Health inequalities are avoidable differences in outcomes for different population groups. Some communities will experience worse health because of local social, environmental and economic conditions that influence the risk of people getting ill, their ability to prevent sickness and their opportunity to take action when they are ill. This can lead to premature death or people living longer with ill health.
Patients and their families have the right to be treated fairly and be routinely involved in decisions about their treatment and care. They can expect to be treated with dignity and respect and will not be discriminated against on any grounds including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Patients have a responsibility to treat other patients and NHS staff with dignity and respect.
Staff have the right to be treated fairly in recruitment and career progression. Staff can expect to work in an environment where diversity is valued and equality of opportunity is promoted. Staff will not be discriminated against on any grounds including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Staff have a responsibility to treat their colleagues and patients with dignity and respect.
As public sector organisations, CCGs are required to set specific, measurable equality objectives by 6 April every four years. The newly formed Buckinghamshire CCG worked with Public Health to set its Equality Objectives for 2019 – 2023:
- We will provide targeted support to identify and treat those people with high blood pressure who are black or from ethnic minority communities. Also those who live in in our most deprived areas. As a result, we will increase the numbers of people diagnosed and improve the percentage of people with high blood pressure whose treatment is successful by 2022.
- We aim to promote good mental health for all and improve access to mental health services when these are needed, with a special focus on children and young people. So, we aim to increase the number of Mental Health Support Teams in schools in catchment areas with the highest levels of deprivation, and increase the numbers of children from these schools accessing mental health services in 19/20 compared to 18/19.
- We will reduce the gap in experience of Care and Support Planning for people who have long term conditions (including mental health) between those who are white British patients and those of black or minority ethnic origin. To do this we will need to improve the recording of ethnicity in the Primary Care record from the 2018 position.
- We will reduce the numbers of people smoking generally and aim to achieve the greatest reduction in smokers registered at GP practices in the most deprived areas of our county.
To support the CCG and its practices in addressing equality, diversity and health inequalities, we have profiles describing the differing challenges each of our localities have.
Please download our Public Sector Equality Duty Annual Report to see some of the actions taken last year which demonstrate our compliance with the Equality duty.
Health Inequalities Review including patient case studies
Health inequalities are avoidable differences in health across the population, and between different groups within society. They arise because of the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age.
The CCG previously undertook a separate review of health inequalities within its geography during 2019 which informed its plans for 2020, including a description of the role of newly developed Primary Care Networks (PCNs). Primary Care Networks link local practices in small collaborative groups to offer primary care health services that are in addition to their core contracts with the NHS.
The review also describes dimensions of health inequalities, known variations in level of deprivation, life expectancy and mental health and wellbeing within CCG and PCN geographies. The full details of the review, including a reflection on the impact on patient outcomes, are published on the CCG’s website through its Governing Body in public where the review was presented on 14 November 2019.
Impact on patients was described through stories including:
- A homeless person with multiple issues: social, physical and mental health, drug and alcohol issues, chaotic access to services and poor outcomes: Pilots locally have been useful for support.
- 80 year old Asian lady with memory problems: the case brought up issues with diagnosis, cultural barriers to accepting a diagnosis of dementia and a review of services available: this led to the project: Raising awareness of dementia in BAME communities.
The review also led to additional priorities in tackling health inequalities in its communities from 2020, which were:
- Smoking: reduction overall, with a focus on the most deprived populations
- Mental health for young people: increasing mental health support teams in schools in deprived areas.
- Care & support planning: improving the gap in patient experience between the Black and minority ethnic (BAME) & white communities.
- Improving the detection of hypertension and its management in our deprived and BAME communities.
Progress on these priorities will be taken into account when the CCG further reviews and redefines its measurable equality objectives in 2023. This review was updated in 2020 and re-published here
NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard
Implementing the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) is a requirement for NHS commissioners and NHS healthcare providers including independent organisations, through the NHS standard contract.
The WRES requires organisations employing NHS workforce to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality. All organisations are required to publish their own data on an annual basis. Summary reports are published below. The reports do not include further breakdowns given small numbers would make identification of individuals possible.
Further information on the WRES is available on the NHS England website.