Equality objectives 2016 – 2020

We have set ourselves six equality objectives which cover the period April 2016 to March 2020. We would encourage readers to read our full report. These equality objectives build on the equality objectives published in April 2014 and key work undertaken in relation to those four objectives. Each of these equality objective is supported and strengthened by three or more associated targets and is set out below.

Equality objective 1: To improve the capability of NHS England’s commissioners, policy staff and others to understand and address the legal obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty and duties to reduce health inequalities introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Target 1: To deliver an open in-house capability programme to NHS England staff through a mixture of 1 and 2 day sessions (2016/17).

Target 2: To evaluate the open in-house capability programme delivered in 2016/17 and assess how to improve access to the programme, via targeting and delivering customised programmes to improve the achievement of key programme outcomes (2016/17).

Target 3: Subject to the evaluation of the programme, to deliver an open in-house programme, customised in-house programmes and, as appropriate, use other effective delivery models (e.g. WebExes) to develop individual capability (2017/18, 2018/19 & 2019/20).

Target 4: To explore how best to build the capacity of other teams with culture- changing remits and influence over others in relation to the PSED and the duties to reduce health inequalities. This will be done by evaluating where co-production has worked effectively and has enabled teams to better embed this work into their areas (2017/18, 2018/19 & 2019/20)

Equality objective 2: To improve disabled staff representation, treatment and experience in the NHS and their employment opportunities within the NHS.

Target 1: To develop the Workforce Disability Equality Standard (2016/17).

Target 2: To ensure that the Disability Equality Standard is mandated as part of the NHS Standard Contract and that an information and engagement programme supports the process (2016/17 and 2017/18).

Target 3: To monitor the implementation of the Standard and evaluate what meaningful targets can be set. To identify any additional opportunities for embedding the Standard (2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20).

Target 4: To facilitate and drive effective ongoing leadership at national, regional and local levels to maintain the programme’s implementation and impact (2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20).

Equality objective 3: To improve the experience of LGBT patients and improve LGBT staff representation.

Target 1: To further develop the Sexual Orientation Monitoring (SOM) Standard (2016/17).

Target 2: To facilitate the development of the LGBT Action Plan (2016/17).

Target 3: To facilitate the effective implementation of the LGBT Action Plan (2017/18).

Target 4: To develop and deliver an effective engagement programme and secure feedback on the roll-out and take up of the SOM Standard within NHS England and across the NHS (2017/18).

Target 5: To support and facilitate appropriate monitoring of the implementation and take up of the SOM Standard within NHS England and across the NHS (2017/18, 2018/19 & 2019/20).

Target 6: To draw on the lessons learnt from the Workforce Race Equality Standard, the Workforce Disability Equality Standard and the SOM’s roll-out, to identify the most effective ways to embed the SOM across the NHS and maintain the necessary momentum and leadership (2017/18).

Equality objective 4: To reduce language barriers experienced by individuals and specific groups of people who engage with the NHS with specific reference to identifying how to address issues in relation to health inequalities and patient safety. 

Target 1: Develop a scoping document on developing a Community Languages Information Standard ensuring alignment with NHS England’s Interpreting and Translation Principles (2016/17).

Target 2: To consult on a draft community language information standard, moving towards implementation subject to sponsorship and resources (2017/18).

Target 3: To explore associated issues around health literacy among target communities and whether these can be addressed as part of this programme (2017/18).

Target 4: To identify potential good practice examples from NHS providers and voluntary and community sector providers in a range of settings and whether and/or how these examples can be publicised (2017/18).

Target 5: To examine the practical and associated cost implications of introducing the main options identified and secure effective leadership and ownership. This will recognise that a one size fits all approach is unlikely to work, given the number and diversity of community languages spoken in some urban/city areas and the different challenges posed by dispersed populations speaking community languages, for example in some rural areas (2017/18).

Target 6: To work with selected NHS and voluntary and community sector providers to review and develop their practices and explore how to introduce, develop and share good practice and good practice models (2018/19 and 2019/20).

Equality objective 5: To improve the mapping, quality and extent of equality information in order to better facilitate compliance with the public sector Equality Duty in relation to patients, service-users and service delivery.

Target 1: To use the development work examining a Unified Information Standard to identify how best to address definitional issues around monitoring protected characteristics (final quarter 2016/17 to end 2nd quarter 2017/18).

Target 2: To map what equality information is gathered by reference to protected characteristics and identify key gaps in information gathering processes that may be valuable in identifying differences in access to healthcare or health outcomes for different protected characteristics (final quarter 2016/17 to end 2nd quarter 2017/18).

Target 3: To identify how improvements in relation to gathering equality data and the use of said data can be made and assess whether it would helpful to align this work with improvements to relevant NHS England workforce data (final quarter 2016/17 to 2018/19).

Equality objective 6: To improve the recruitment, retention, progression, development and experience of the people employed by NHS England to enable the organisation to become an inclusive employer of choice.

Target 1:  To identify opportunities to promote and encourage employees to voluntarily disclose their self-classification diversity data to ensure NHS England’s actions as an employer are evidence led and improvement focussed. To annually publish the NHS England workforce profile and outcomes for the 9 protected characteristics, where data is available, to inform improvement plans (2017-2020).

Target 2:  To implement and report progress against the NHS England response, as an employer, to the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) and Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) (2017-2020).

Target 3: To actively engage with, promote, support and encourage the work of the NHS England staff networks (BME, LGBT+, Disability and Wellbeing (DAWN) and Women’s Development Network) and recognised trade unions to ensure the lived experience of NHS England staff, represented by these networks and partners, directly contributes to improvement actions and organisational policy development (2017-2020).

Target 4: To ensure that the experience of NHS England staff, as measured via the NHS England staff survey and other relevant staff feedback mechanisms, is reviewed for variations based upon protected characteristics and for improvement actions to be taken (2017-2020).

Target 5: To review the equality impact of key organisational policies for differential impact in areas such as: recruitment and selection, learning and development, supporting attendance at work, respect at work (anti-bullying and harassment); talent management; appraisal (performance development review) disciplinary, grievance and job evaluation (2017-2019).

Target 6: To seek external review, challenge and accreditation of NHS England’s actions as an employer by actively participating with relevant equalities standards and benchmarks (e.g. the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, the Disability Confident Standard, the Workplace Wellbeing Charter, etc.) (2017- 2020).