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How Equality and Diversity helps healthcare in North East Lincolnshire

How Equality & Diversity helps healthcare in North East Lincolnshire

Putting Equality & Diversity into practice is – by its definition – very diverse.

It’s so much more than the tick box form you may fill in when you complete an application for a new job.

Within North East Lincolnshire CCG, it’s about how we ensure all patients are considered equally when we deliver local healthcare services.

Every healthcare service that’s commissioned in North East Lincolnshire goes through an Equality & Diversity check, and I’m proud to work with the team of three volunteers with the CCG who pore over every new healthcare proposal to make sure no-one is disadvantaged.

We feed back on proposals for all new healthcare services, and new service providers, before they are launched. This could be anything from nursing home providers, to the care for patients with dementia, to the cleanliness of hospital wards, hospital food, and ensuring all patients are treated with dignity and kindness.

The legislation for Equality & Diversity covers those tick boxes you see on the job application forms, and more: age, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and motherhood, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation and disability.

Let me give you an example. I was an active member of the CCG group which reviewed the equality impact of new proposed Hyper-Acute Stroke Services, and in-patient Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Services. These were being consulted on as part of the wider Healthy Lives, Healthy Futures programme. In both cases we needed to make sure Equality & Diversity was fully considered and that the needs of everyone who may access these services would be met.

As well as working with the CCG, I also have an interest in Equality & Diversity within the wider North East Lincolnshire healthcare community. For example, I’m on the panel of NLAG’s Patient Experience Group.

Readers may remember there was a big uproar a year or so ago about proposed car parking costs at the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital. The new charges were seen as particularly unfair for those on low incomes.

The Patient Experience Group kicked into action, we worked with the hospital, and charges were reduced for everyone. Those on low incomes can now also get the cost of their parking refunded.

Equality & Diversity means we can’t discriminate based on how much money someone has, or doesn’t have. The NHS and the services we provide need to be accessible for everyone.

My motivation is in getting the best care money can buy within the limits of the NHS system. Sometimes, that means making difficult decisions, as there is only so much money to go round. We won’t compromise on ensuring Equality & Diversity within the healthcare services we provide, but we can’t provide a service for everything. We have to consider value in what we do for the people of North East Lincolnshire, and sometimes that can be hard.

Equality & Diversity is so much more than a tick-box form. It’s about helping real people in the local area.

We’ve come a long way, and I’m proud the CCG see me and my colleagues as the experts they can turn to for advice on Equality and Diversity laws and more.

Residents can be assured we’ll carry on our work in making sure healthcare services are Equality & Diversity compliant. There are many more exciting things to come, and we won’t be taking our foot off the gas at all!

Equality & Diversity is part of the Accord programme, where the CCG involves members of the community to get their advice and input on a range of topics. If you’d like to have your say, sign up at http://nelccg-accord.co.uk/, email nelccg.accord@nhs.net or give us a call on 0300 3000 567.

Roy Rufus Isaacs, Community Lead for Equality & Diversity for North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

 

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