Equality Delivery System

Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust has introduced the new Equality Delivery System (EDS) launched by the Department of Health. This provides a tool which will help us to deliver against our statutory requirements in promoting equality and the value of diversity of our staff and service users.

The Trust covers a diverse community and this should influence how we provide our services as well as how we treat our staff, both current and future.

All NHS organisations are being encouraged to use the EDS but it is not mandatory. It sets out four goals around equality, diversity and human rights, and eighteen standards relating to those goals. Trust working with their staff and the people who use their services assess their position against the standards, and use that to help set improvement aims for the future. There are four goals:

  • Better Health Outcomes for all
  • Improved patient access and experience
  • Empowered, engaged and well supported staff
  • Inclusive leadership at all levels
  • Why do we need to implement the Equality Delivery System (EDS)?

    The EDS will help to ensure that the Trust meets its Public Equality Duty as required within the Equality Act 2010 and is consistent with the CQC compliance framework.

    From April 2012, the NHS has implemented the NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS).

    What is its purpose?

    The Trust EDS process will help to better identify, verify and effectively align its services to meet the needs of all patient groups or `protected characteristics` (formerly referred to as diversity strands) going forward.

    What are the benefits?

    The introduction of the EDS will help to recognise, encourage and highlight the undoubted good practice and evidence that already exists at the Trust but at the same time ensure there is better or consistent engagement with our local communities, any gaps are identified and addressed and become more reflective of the community it serves at all grades and positions.

    What does it involve?

    At the heart of the EDS is the RAGP (Red, Amber, Green, Purple) rating process that reflects, following local consultation, a `benchmark` as to where a Trust or NHS organisation is in terms of meeting the outcomes (18 overall) or the needs of diverse groups across both its service and employment objectives.

    These ratings will help to highlight or identify the areas of equality outcomes that the organisation will then focus on over an agreed period. Based on transparency and evidence, NHS organisations and local interests should agree one of four grades for each outcome. Where organisations and local interests cannot agree on particular grades, the view of local interests must prevail.

    • Excelling – Purple
    • Achieving - Green
    • Developing – Amber
    • Undeveloped - Red

    Based on the grading, Annual Improvement Plans will show how the most immediate priorities are to be tackled, by whom and when. Trusts and local interests will regularly assess progress and carry out a fresh grading exercise. In this way, the EDS will foster continuous improvements. The first Improvement Plans should be ready for April 2012.

    Why do we need to consult and engage?

    An important feature of the EDS is that the ratings MUST be developed and agreed through consultation and engagement with stakeholders. We are working with the Clinical Commissioning Groups and patient groups including Links across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin to do this work together.

    How we are doing?

    Please refer to our current EDS2 Summary Report.

    Stakeholders and partnerships

    A key part of adopting the EDS is the involvement of local people to work with the Trust. We have held both internal and external meetings in relation to the 2018 EDS2 and previous EDS2 consultations.

    Why is this different?

    To make the EDS work properly it is extremely important that we not only speak to the community but also that we get them involved in the process. What this means is that there will be opportunities for local communities to help us govern what we do around equality and diversity. This could mean being involved in rating how well we are performing. However it could also mean that you help us to ensure providing services that meet the needs of all protected characteristics.

    What are protected characteristics?

    Protected characteristics refer to all the different groups of people that are covered under the Equality Act 2010 – the main piece of legislation that protects people from discrimination in the UK. These are:

    • Age
    • Disability
    • Ethnicity/Race
    • Gender
    • Gender Reassignment
    • Marriage and Civil Partnership
    • Pregnancy and Maternity
    • Religion and Beliefs
    • Sexual Orientation