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Reporting on our public sector equality progress 

We have just published our 2018 Public Sector Equality Duty Annual Report, which demonstrates our commitment to the Equality Act 2010.

The Equality Act provides a legal framework to strengthen and advance equality and human rights. The Act consists of general and specific duties:

The general duty requires public bodies to show due regard to: 

  • Eliminating unlawful discrimination or any other conduct prohibited by or under the Act

  • Advancing equality of opportunity between persons who share a protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

  • Fostering good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

There are nine 'protected characteristics' covered by the Equality Act: Age, Disability, Gender re-assignment, Marriage and civil partnership, Pregnancy and maternity, Race including nationality and ethnic origin, Religion or belief, Sex (male/female),  Sexual orientation.

The specific duties require public bodies to publish relevant, proportionate information showing how they meet the Equality Duty by 31 January each year, and to set specific measurable equality objectives by 6 April every four years.   

2018 has seen changes in south east London to CCG commissioning arrangements. In Lewisham we are working more closely with local authority and providers as part of the Lewisham Health & Care Partners programme. Also, GPs are forming larger groupings with federations and mergers and therefore sharing ideas, resources and developing a quality improvement movement across Lewisham to eventually involve all providers.  Multi-disciplinary teams are evolving very constructively and are allowing us to better look at patients in the round.

Some of our 2018 achievement highlights include:

  • Our pilot service to improve access to primary care for rough sleepers was recognised as an example of best practice by NHS England  

  • The Community Falls Service, Children and Young People's Mental Health Services and the Lewisham GP Extended Access Service were all assessed, with active involvement from our Public Reference Group and other members of the community, using Goals 1 and 2 of the NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS2). This is an equality assessment tool-kit that helps NHS organisations to identify good practice and identify gaps or areas that require improvement.

  • Equality Analyses have been completed for our Rough Sleepers Pilot; Improving access to primary care, Lewisham CCG Patient Choice Policy and Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Interpreting and Translation Services.

  • We have continued to widen our engagement, reaching more communities in the borough, enabling many diverse groups to have their say on Lewisham and south-east London developments.

More equality information and the report can be found here.