Promoting equality and equity are at the heart of NHS England’s values – ensuring that the organisation exercises fairness in all that it does and that no community or group is left behind in the improvements that will be made to health outcomes across the country.
NHS England will continue to work internally, and in partnership with colleagues within the Department of Health and the wider NHS, to ensure that advancing equality and diversity is central to how it conducts its business as an organisation.
In January 2012, the Board Authority published an equality analysis of its principal functions, which concluded that its establishment was unlikely to impact negatively on patients, the public or staff sharing protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act. However, there were excellent opportunities to advance equality in the design of future NHS England functions, embedding fairness and equity in its establishment from the outset.
Public bodies were required to prepare and publish objectives by 6 April 2012 to meet the general equality duty as outlined in the Equality Act 2010. These objectives need to be specific and measurable and refreshed at least once every four years. The primary purpose of the objectives is to focus organisations on the outcomes to be achieved through advancing equality, rather than the written documents and processes to evidence legal compliance.
We have set ourselves four Equality Objectives for the period April 2014 to March 2016:
The Equality Objectives set above will help to ensure that our policy-making, decisions and activities are compliant with the public sector Equality Duty, and will provide system leadership to Clinical Commissioning Groups and other parts of the NHS.