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Equality & Diversity

C7e - part 1 eliminating discrimination & promoting equality

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Wednesday, 24 March 2010

C7e - part 1 eliminating discrimination & promoting equality

A review of the change from standards to regulations.

The forthcoming Care Quality Commission (CQC) change from standards to regulations, based on outcomes, will result in a shift away from policies, systems and processes towards a quality experience for staff and users of healthcare services. 

On first inspection, readers of the new draft CQC Regulations may be forgiven in believing that Equality & Diversity (E&D) requirements have been diluted, but a closer look and the penny drops, the bar has been raised and E&D demands will be greater than ever before.

Firstly, there is a change of approach.  The current C7e Standard, challenging discrimination, promoting equality and respecting human rights, with its elements and lines of enquiry is fairly prescriptive and tells you what you 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.

Secondly, there is a clear focus on outcomes, based on the patient experience.  The Regulations require providers to take care to ensure that care and treatment is provided to service users with due regard to their age, sex, religious persuasion, sexual orientation, racial origin, cultural and linguistic background and any disability they have.  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.

Regarding outcomes, people who use services must be able to express their views, be involved in making decisions about their care, treatment and support and have their privacy, dignity and independence respected.  It is clear that organisations will need to place a much greater emphasis on equality monitoring in relation to service provision in the future.

Access to services, attendance rates for booked appointments and procedures and treatment outcomes will need to be monitored by equality strands against local population benchmarks.  Furthermore, monitoring data often shows significantly higher non-attendance rates for some ethnic and other equality groups.

Patient complaints and patient surveys will also need to be monitored by equality strands to demonstrate that the organisation has eliminated discrimination from its systems.  Currently, monitoring is often restricted to gender and age and this will need to be expanded to include other equality groups.  Survey questions will also need to be built into patient surveys to cover equality and diversity issues to demonstrate compliance with required outcomes.

Finally, at the same time, organisations will still need to ensure that they are fully compliant with equality legislation, for example, compliant Equality Schemes, robust initial and full Equality Impact Assessments and compliant workforce monitoring.

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


Anonymous says:
Jun 19, 2015 07:22 AM
What about racial equality for the staff working for the NHS?

There is subtle racism ( usually by exclusion) that exists and is difficult to prove. People from BME are often marginalised when they apply for any higher posts are told "you were very good, the competition was very close but bad luck, try next time". That next time never comes for many. Many get disillusioned by the hollow words and their enthusiasm to work dies down affecting patient care. They start working by the clock, by the rule without any enthusiasm they earlier had. Many a times "incompetent" people are promoted, many of whom are Bullies as they hide their incompetence by picking on people who are better than them.