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:
- We will oversee and support the implementation of the Equality Delivery System (EDS2), so that by 31 March 2016 there is a minimum of 95% implementation across all NHS Trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts, and Clinical Commissioning Groups across England.
- During 2014/15, we will help support CCGs to plan and commission for equality by embedding equality at the heart of key system levers identified by the Equality and Diversity Council, including the CCG assurance regime and the corporate governance statement.
- By March 2015, we will have developed an Accessible Information Standard to help disabled patients, service users and carers to receive accessible information and appropriate communication support when in contact with healthcare services, to be implemented by March 2016.
- NHS England is committed to implementing the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Strategy 2013 to 2015, to ensure an engaged workforce that is more representative at all levels
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.