Meeting the Equality Duty – Publications

Meeting the Equality Duty – Publications

Home » Meeting the Equality Duty – Publications

14 July 2023

The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board primary objective is to guarantee equitable and accessible healthcare services for all individuals, irrespective of their personal attributes or backgrounds. These resources serve as an informative platform, offering factual information, guidance, and assistance on how we fulfill our commitment to promoting equality, eliminating discrimination, and fostering an inclusive environment within our healthcare system.

  • 2010 Equality Act – Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)

    The Equality Act’s Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) applies to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board (ICB) and other public bodies who carry out public functions. It supports good decision-making by ensuring public bodies consider how different people will be affected by their activities, helping them to deliver policies and services which are efficient and effective; accessible to all; and which meet different people’s needs.

    The PSED requires the ICB to have due regard (consideration) to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations for people with a protected characteristic when developing its policies, services or when carrying out day to day functions and activities.

    The protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act’s PSED are: Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership (but only in respect of eliminating unlawful discrimination), Pregnancy and Maternity, Race – this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality, Religion or Belief – this includes lack of belief, Sex and Sexual orientation.

    Specific Duties

    The PSED is supported by specific duties, which require public bodies to publish relevant, proportionate information demonstrating their compliance with the PSED; and to set themselves specific, measurable equality objectives. Publishing relevant equality information will make public bodies transparent about their decision-making processes, and accountable to their service users. It will give the public the information they need to hold public bodies to account for their performance on equality.

    The specific duties require public bodies to:

    • publish information to show their compliance with the Equality Duty, at least annually; and
    • set and publish equality objectives, at least every four years.

    The information published must include:

    • information relating to employees who share protected characteristics (for public bodies with 150 or more employees); and
    • information relating to people who are affected by the ICB policies and practices who share protected characteristics (for example, service users).

    The PSED Report provides information on the ICB’s annual activity in relation to Equality Diversity and Inclusion. The ICB developed the 2022-2025 equality objectives based on the NHS Equality Delivery System Framework.

    The 2022 – 2023 PSED Annual Report is currently in draft, subject to approval. Once approved the final report will then be published on the ICB’s dedicated equality webpage in April 2023.

  • ICB Workforce Diversity Profile Report

    This report is produced to meet legal publishing requirements and also to help to identify key areas for consideration and discussion for the ICBs Staff Network and Engagement Groups, Ambassadors and Champions, Decision Making Bodies and Committees and Trade Unions.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a renewed focus, creating a great deal of positive action across the NHS to support staff. It recognised that our leaders need to continue to ensure that all staff are at the centre stage of all decision-making and that deep-rooted problems with inequality and discrimination in our workplaces are addressed.

    Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care System (ICS)

    At a system level the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICB will actively lead, support and contribute to the significant progress towards delivering workforce equality with their NHS partners to make the local area a better place to work including a movement towards an ‘one workforce’ approach as set out in the ICS Design Framework – where the greatest impact can be had by affecting change across the whole local workforce.

    Integrated Care Systems can widen participation in health and care for local communities, including in areas of greater deprivation, for excluded groups and for people not in education, employment, or training. They can also make the most of the skills and talent across the whole local area, by creating employment, volunteering, and apprenticeship opportunities. This can not only help develop a broader talent pipeline, but also have a positive direct impact on communities’, families’, and individuals’ lives.           

    For more information, visit our publications.

    Workforce Diversity Profile Report 2022

  • Pay Gaps
    In 2018, it became mandatory for all public sector employers with more than 250 employees to measure and publish their gender pay gap information. Since then, employers have had a responsibility to publish data annually.
    Equal pay means that men and women in the same employment who are performing equal work must receive equal pay, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.
    The gender pay gap is a measure that shows the difference in average earnings between men and women across an organisation or the labour market.
    Public bodies with 250 or more staff are required to publish gender pay gap information each year. This duty to publish will apply to ICBs from 30 March 2024. However, the published data will cover our workforce profile at 31 March 2023.The ICB will be collecting and recording this data in readiness for next year.
  • Modern Slavery Act

    As both local leaders in commissioning health care services and as employers, the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICB provides a statement, reviewed annually in respect of the ICBs commitment to, and efforts in, preventing slavery and human trafficking practices in the supply chain and employment practices. NHS England have also produced a video (watch below) to explain Modern Slavery and its relevance and impact on healthcare.

    Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICS Modern Day Slavery Statement 2023-24


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  • NHS Accessible Information Standard
    The Standard tells organisations how they should make sure that patients and service users, and their carers and parents, can access and understand the information they are given. This includes making sure that people get information in accessible formats.
    The Standard also tells organisations how they should make sure that people get support from a communication professional if they need it, and about changing working practices to support effective communication.
    By law (section 250 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012), all organisations that provide NHS care or adult social care must follow the Standard in full from 1st August 2016 onwards.
    Organisations that commission NHS care and / or adult social care, for example Integrated Care Boards (ICBs), must also support implementation of the Standard by provider organisations.
    The Accessible Information Standard is also reflected in the ICB’s Accessibility and Communication Statement and is reviewed annually. Click on the links below for further information from NHS England:
    NHS England have also worked with the charity Sense to develop an animated video which provides a step-by-step overview of the Standard. The video (shown above) includes subtitles and BSL interpretation.

  • NHS Equality Delivery System
    The Equality Delivery System (EDS) is a system that helps NHS organisations improve the services they provide for their local communities and provide better working environments, free of discrimination, for those who work in the NHS, while meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.  The EDS was developed by the NHS, for the NHS, taking inspiration from existing work and good practice.
    At the heart of EDS are 11 outcomes, against which NHS organisations assess and grade themselves.  These outcomes are group under three domains:
    1. Commissioned or provided services.
    2. Workforce health and well-being
    3. Inclusive leadership
    The ICB developed its 2022-2025 equality objectives based on the NHS Equality Delivery System Framework.
    For more information you can visit
  • NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)
    Workforce Disability Equality Standard
    The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of ten specific measures (metrics) which enables NHS organisations to compare the workplace and career experiences of disabled and non-disabled staff. NHS organisations use the metrics data to develop and publish an action plan, building on high impact actions shared in the first ever EDI improvement plan. Year on year comparison enables NHS organisations to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality to create the cultures of belonging and trust that will improve retention, recruit from the widest possible talent pool and provide sustainable careers.
    Making a difference for disabled staff
    The WDES is important, because research shows that a motivated, included and valued workforce helps to deliver high quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and improved patient safety.
    The WDES puts data into the hands of people in NHS organisations who best understand the experiences of their disabled staff and how to make positive change. A more inclusive environment for disabled people working and seeking employment in the NHS is better for our people, for teams and for patients.
  • NHS Workplace Race Equality Standard (WRES)

    The WRES was introduced in 2015 to focus national and local effort in ensuring staff from black and minority ethnic backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.
    The WRES prompts inquiry and assists participating organisations to develop and implement evidence-based responses to the challenges their data reveals.
    The main purpose of the WRES is:
    • to help local, and national, NHS organisations (and other organisations providing NHS services) to review their data against the nine WRES indicators,
    • to produce action plans to close the gaps in workplace experience between white and ethnic minority staff, and,
    • to improve ethnic minority representation at the Board level of the organisation.
    The WRES will ensure that all healthcare staff are treated fairly and with respect, which will have a positive impact on patient care.

    This video from NHS England highlights the leadership commitment given to the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard.

    For more Information, please visit NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard 

    Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent WRES report.

  • Equality Impact and Risk Assessments (EIRA)
    An equality impact assessment (EIRA) is an evidence-based approach designed to help organisations ensure that their policies, practices, events and decision-making processes are fair and do not present barriers to participation or disadvantage any protected groups from participation.
    Carrying out an Equality Impact Risk Assessment (EIRA) will help to meet the ICB’s legal duties as well as bringing a number of benefits. They will:
    • ensure that your decisions impact in a fair way: where there is evidence that particular groups will be negatively affected by a decision, reasonable actions should be taken to address this.
    • make your decisions based on evidence: EIRAs provides a clear and structured way to collect, assess and put forward relevant evidence.
    • make decision-making more transparent: a process which involves those affected by the service, policy or function and which is based on evidence is much more open and transparent. This is more likely to engender trust in decision-makers and in your decisions.
    • provide a platform for partnership working EIRA offers an opportunity for organisations to work in partnership to consider the impact on members of their shared communities and how they might best collaborate and co-ordinate financial decisions.
    Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICB routinely carry out equality impact and risk assessments on its services, policies, and its day-to-day functions.
  • EDI Staff Networks, Ambassadors and Champions and Allies
    The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICB recognise that the people who work for us are our greatest asset and when they feel supported and happy in work this positivity impacts on all local patients and communities who use the NHS. We are committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive organisation and ensuring that we harness the talents of all our staff fully.
    One of the ways we wish to support this is through the development of specific staff networks for example our Ethnic Diverse Group and the Disability and Neuro Diverse Staff network, along with other staff support groups and individual roles that contribute to addressing and solving problems for all under-represented and disadvantaged or under-served groups and individuals within our organisation.
    We believe our EDI staff support systems offers a place for staff to come together, share experiences, facilitate learning and development and to have a voice that is heard and influences change.
    As mentioned, in addition to these staff support groups the ICB have appointed several EDI related support roles. These roles have been taken up by staff across arrange of teams and pay bands including very senior managers, the roles include:
    • Diversity Champions
    • Menopause Ambassadors (with Executive sponsor)
    • Invisible Conditions Reps
    • Mental Health First Aiders
    • Wellbeing Champions
    • Wellbeing Guardian (Non Executive Director)
    • Freedom to Speak Up Guardian and Champion
    • Domestic Abuse Ambassadors
    • Change Ambassadors
  • EDI Action Plan
    Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICB are committed to fulfilling our equality duties and obligations to reduce health inequalities in all aspects of our roles and functions. The values underpinning equality, diversity, and human rights are central to policy making, service planning, employment practices, and commissioning.
    For our staff, we aim to create a working culture that recognises, respects, and values differences for the benefit of the organisation, the individual, and the community.
    Each year the ICB bring together feedback, comments and recommendations from a range of EDI tools and mechanisms to form an annual EDI action plan. This ensures that we address issues most relevant to our staff and in our role of commissioning services.
    EDI Action Plan for 2023/2024.
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy
    The purpose of this policy is to set out our commitment to creating an organisation where people of all identities and backgrounds can thrive. It was created to ensure that people are aware of their responsibilities and know how and where to seek support.    The ICB is committed to embedding equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI)
    considerations into all aspects of our work, including policy development,
    commissioning processes and employment practices.
    We aim to:
    • Improve equality of access to health services and health outcomes for the diverse population we serve.
    • Build and maintain a diverse, culturally competent ICB workforce, supported by an inclusive leadership team.
    • Create and maintain an environment where dignity, understanding and mutual respect, free from prejudice and discrimination, is experienced by all and where patients and staff feel able to challenge discrimination and unacceptable behaviour.
    This will be achieved through the completion of a range of equality tools primarily the; The Equality Delivery System, NHS Staff Survey, Gender Pay Gap, Workforce Race Equality Standard, Race Equality Code, Workforce Disability Equality Standard, Workforce Diversity Profile Report. These mechanisms produce actions which will form the ICB’s annual action plan which is reviewed and monitored by the ICB’s Staff Engagement Group and General Purpose and Resource Group. Data will be collated from a range of sources for example Staff Electronic Records, HR Recruitment data and previously published reports. This will allow the ICB to measure progress against previous years or benchmarked targets.
  • RACE Equality Code - Quality Mark Awarded
    We are delighted to announce that Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is the first ICB in the country to be awarded the Quality Mark by RSM a leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services.
    The Chief People Officer said ‘I am absolutely delighted that the SSOT ICB has achieved the Quality Mark, particularly being the first ICB to be awarded by RSM. This is testament to the hard work put in to the submission to demonstrate real actions and accountability to create change’
    This Code, and its Accountability Framework, is designed to provide organisations across all sectors and sizes, with the opportunity to address a very specific challenge …. How to deal with race inequality in the boardroom and senior leadership team.
    It is not only a combination of current best practice and thinking around addressing the challenges organisations face in this area, but its unique Drivers provide the refreshing, sometimes radical and uncomfortable solution needed to create lasting and transformational change.
    The Code adopts an ‘apply and explain’ approach, meaning organisations are able to describe how, based on their specific circumstances they will achieve the Code's standards. Adopters are required to carry out a self-assessment against the Code requirements, explaining in a robust, transparent and comprehensive manner the outcomes of their practice.
    The ICB have adopted the RACE Equality Code (REC) as a commitment to advancing Race Equality. The REC is a Leadership focused programme The REC programme is based on two deep dive diagnostic assessments which were completed in January and March 2023. Key ICB Leaders attended both sessions, including the ICB Board Chair, Chief Executive Officer, Chief People Officer, Director of Corporate Governance, Head of ICB People, OD and Inclusion, CSU EDI team, and Non-Executive Chair of People, Culture and Organisational
    The overall assessment process resulted in 31 actions ranging from short to longer term actions to be delivered over the next 3 years. These actions form a significant part of the ICB’s 2023-2024 (and subsequent) Equality Action Plan.