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Equality & Diversity

C7e - part 2 eliminating discrimination & promoting equality

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Wednesday, 24 March 2010

C7e - part 2 eliminating discrimination & promoting equality

How to meet the new CQC requirements on equality and diversity

From the beginning of April this year, all UK healthcare providers will need to demonstrate that they comply with the Care Quality Commission’s new regulations.  These cover a quality experience for staff and users of healthcare service, with a clear focus on outcomes, based on the patient experience.  This means that staff will need to understand what things are important to people who use services in relation to their care, treatment and support. 

The current C7e Standard, challenging discrimination, promoting equality and respecting human rights, with its elements and lines of enquiry is prescriptive and tells organisations what they need to put in place.  The new regulations are more subtle and organisations will be measured and assessed on what people say and their actual experience, rather than what systems they put in place.

Some key steps that will help to put you on the right path:

1) Ensure care and treatment is provided to service users with due regard to their needs, preferences and diversity.

2) Allow people who use services to express their views, be involved in making decisions about their care, treatment and support and have their privacy, dignity and independence respected.  This means that engagement will need to involve seldom heard groups.

3) Place a greater emphasis on equality monitoring in service provision and outcomes based on the patient experience.

4) Monitor patient access, complaints and surveys and staff surveys by equality strands to demonstrate that the organisation has eliminated discrimination from its systems.  Patient experience surveys will also need to include questions that explicitly cover equality issues.  Build a set of measurable local equality indicators and goals around the 6 strands of equality into payment frameworks such as, CQUINS and dashboard KPIs.

5) Check Equality Scheme(s) against the Equality & Human Rights Commission assessment template for compliance and Codes of Practice.

6) Ensure decisions concerning impact are evidence based and include consultation. Publish the results of Equality Impact Assessments, both initial and full and publish a Corporate EIA programme that includes service delivery, including review and care pathways, as well as policies.

Vincent Hodges, Interim Equality & Diversity Lead, Medway Community Healthcare & Director of Consultancy & Interim Management Healthcare Equality Partners