Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group is committed to commissioning the very best care for the diverse population we serve, recognising that services need to be designed with equality, diversity and human rights at the core of business and decision-making.
We are committed to fulfilling our equality duties and obligations to reduce avoidable health inequalities in all aspects of our role and functions. We have a legal duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination and promoting equality of outcomes for our diverse population. We aim to do this by ensuring that the values underpinning equality, diversity and human rights are central to our policy making, service planning, employment practices and commissioning.
For our staff, we recognise and value difference and aim to create a working culture and practices that recognise, respect and value difference for the benefit of the organisation and the individual.
Our Equality Objectives and Health Inequalities Strategy 2018-2021 sets out our strategic priorities for improving healthcare and outcomes for our populations.
Our equality objectives have been developed in consultation with our communities and patients and are:
- We will commission health services that are informed by local needs and people, improve access, and reduce health inequalities
- We will work with our local partners to improve health outcomes and doing so, will support the voices of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and communities to be heard
- We will develop our workforce across all levels of the organisation, where staff are engaged and supported, and leaders and managers foster a culture of inclusion, wellbeing, and diversity.
The CCG has developed a comprehensive action plan to ensure delivery of the strategic equality objectives which is overseen by the Quality and Safety Committee. For further details on the plan and our work to improve equality and reduce health inequalities in health care and the services we commission please contact a member of the Equalities Team.
The CCG works to a number of statutory and policy drivers, which underpin the equality and diversity agenda. The main pieces of legislation and policy drivers are set out below.
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single act in October 2010. This single act has made equality laws simpler: easier for people to understand and comply with; removed inconsistencies; and strengthened protection in some situations.
The Act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. These characteristics refer to the groups of people who are specifically offered protection by the Equality Act. Every person has one or more of the protected characteristics, and so the Act protects everyone against unfair discrimination.
Protection is afforded to:
A person belonging to a particular age or age group. People of different ages including children, younger and older people.
People who have a disability or a physical or mental impairment and it has substantial and long term adverse effect on an individual’s ability to carry out normal daily living activities.
People who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) to reassign their sex by changing physiological or other physical attributes of sex.
Marriage and civil partnership
People who are married or in a civil partnership.
Pregnancy and maternity
Women who are having or have recently had a baby.
People characterised by shared ethnicity, colour, nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.
Religion or belief
People with or without a religion or belief.
Men and women.
People whose sexual orientation is towards people of the same sex as themselves (gay or lesbian); people of the opposite sex (heterosexual); or people of both sexes (bisexual).
What do we mean by Human Rights?
The Human Rights Act 1998 came into force in 2000. Everyone in the UK is protected under the Act. Birmingham and Solihull CCG, as a public authority, is obliged by law to respect the basic human rights of all citizens. As a public body we must at all times act in a manner compatible with the rights protected in this Act and safeguard these for patients and staff in our care and employment.
Human Rights are underpinned by a set of common values and have been adopted by the NHS under the acronym FREDA.
The FREDA principles represent:
- Fairness (e.g. fair and transparent grievance and complaints procedures)
- Respect (e.g. respect for same sex couples, teenage parents, homeless)
- Equality (e.g. not being denied treatment due to age, sex, race etc.)
- Dignity (e.g. sufficient staff to change soiled sheets, help patient to eat/drink)
- Autonomy (e.g. involving people in decisions about their treatment and care)
Consideration of Human Rights is also given in our Equality Analysis process, to ensure that our policies and strategies are compatible with the rights afforded by this Act.
Health and Social Care Act 2012
The Act builds on the core principles and values of the NHS – a comprehensive service that is available to all, based on need and free at the point of use.
The Act charges the National Commissioning Board with an explicit duty to address inequalities in outcome and achieve fair and equitable access to health services.
The CCG is committed to upholding the NHS Constitution which outlines a number of commitments and pledges to uphold patient dignity and human rights.
If you have any queries or would like any further information, please contact: