Equality Plan April 2016 to March 2019

Legislative context

Equality legislation has been enacted by Government to ensure that public organisations promote equality, good relations and remove discrimination in the delivery of all their functions.

The Equality Act (2010) and The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties ) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 hold public sector organisations to account for ensuring appropriate steps are taken to remove inequality in the delivery of all functions. The 2010 Act makes specific reference to groups of people who are perceived to be at highest risk of discrimination and accordingly, public sector organisations must evidence how they have taken the needs of these groups into account when designing and delivering services. The groups are referred to as ‘Protected Characteristics’ and are defined in law as:

Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) have been listed public bodies under The Equality Act (2010) and the additional Scottish Statutory Instrument The Equality Act (2010) (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012. As a newly established public body, the East Dunbartonshire HSCP is required to evidence how it meets the General Duty, also known as the Public Sector Equality Duty, a key provision in section 149 of The Equality Act 2010.

As per The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012, the HSCP is required to deliver on a number of required activities to assist Scottish public bodies better demonstrate their compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty

protected characteristics

The Public Sector Equality Duty

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other prohibited conduct.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t

Specific Duties

The specific duties require listed public bodies to do the following to enable better performance of the Public Sector Equality Duty

Boxes saying ; Develop Equality Outcomes and report on progress towards them. Mainstream the general duty. Procure goods and services in a way that supports the equality.Publish the outcomes in a manner that is accessible.  Conduct equality impact assessments

 Equality Outcomes

By 30th April 2016 HSCPs must publish Equality Outcomes. These must have been developed through the inclusion and involvement of people with protected characteristics. Outcomes must address all protected characteristics unless it can be justified otherwise. They should be based on a variety of evidence and proportionate to the HSCP area.

It is essential that the HSCP sets measureable and specific Outcomes in order to make meaningful changes to people’s experience of Health and Social Care services. Performance towards meeting these Outcomes must be monitored through existing performance monitoring means and reported biennially.

The Outcomes must also include details of any activity undertaking by the HSCP since its inception which has contributed towards mainstreaming the Public Sector Equality Duty.

In line with Regulation 4, this page sets out the HSCP’s Equality Outcomes. These have been considered using a wide range of UK, Scottish and local sources of evidence and connect with the Equality Outcomes of East Dunbartonshire Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to ensure maximum benefit for everyone accessing health and social care services in East Dunbartonshire. These will be subject to further refinement over the coming months, prior to approval by the Integrated Joint Board in 2016.

The HSCP will be responsible for publishing Outcomes, reporting on Progress and Mainstreaming of the Public Sector Equality Duty and providing specific information to the constituent bodies where relevant. As the HSCP is not an employer, responsibility for any employment related reporting will remain with East Dunbartonshire Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde but will be formally shared by HSCP.

HSCP Equality Outcomes

This Plan sets out the HSCP equality outcomes and action against each of the General Duties required under the legislation.


Public Sector Equality Duty

1. Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment victimisation and other prohibited conduct by the Act

HSCP Outcome 1

Barriers to HSCP services are removed for people with relevant protected characteristics


Meet and deliver the HSCP requirements for communication support, utilising the EDC Accessible Information Policy and NHS GGC Clear to All interpreting and communication support policy guidelines.


Engage with HSCP service user and carers, particularly those with a disability, to assess accessibility and work with EDC and NHSGGC to make all reasonable adjustments to Health and Social Care services

HSCP Outcome 2

Age discrimination in services is removed


Review services to ensure that they are based on biological rather than chronological access unless objectively justified

HSCP Outcome 3

The risk of homelessness amongst vulnerable individuals is reduced


EDC and NHSGGC employees are trained to use homelessness risk assessment tools and address need more effectively

HSCP Outcome 4

A Public Service Users & Carer Forum which is inclusive of people with protected characteristics co-produces and works collaboratively with the HSCP to shape service development


Further develop methods to meaningfully engage with people with protected characteristic and those socially and economically disadvantaged


Engage service users and carers to design and implement an engagement model approved by the HSCP Board


 Public Sector Equality Duty

 2. Advance equal opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it

HSCP Outcome 5

East Dunbartonshire Council and NHSGGC employees understand the needs of people with different protected characteristics and promote diversity in the work that they do


Workforce learning and development plans reflect staff needs in terms of increased knowledge and understanding


Equality Impact Assessment is further developed as an online tool, training delivered to managers/lead reviewers and process is embedded in practice

HSCP Outcome 6

The likelihood of people with different protected characteristics accessing service appointments is maximized


Review attendance and waiting times to identify barriers to access and develop improvement plans


Set out mechanisms that enable service users and carers to have a voice in service planning and development

HSCP Outcome 7

Protected characteristics and wider circumstances that affect health and wellbeing are effectively addressed in HSCP services


Relevant employees are trained and supported to carry out routine sensitive enquiry


Work with partners to strengthen support for people experiencing gender based violence


Contribute to the delivery of targeted services to meet the needs of areas experiencing higher levels of inequality (PLACE).


Strengthen pathways and referrals to financial inclusion services and employability opportunities

Public Sector Equality Duty

3. Foster Good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not

HSCP Outcome 8

Positive attitudes and interactions with everyone, regardless of their characteristics, are increased among employees, service users and communities


Through our commissioned services monitor participation levels for people with different characteristics


Increase the understanding of the Public Service User & Carer Forum members about enhancing good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not


Measuring Performance

The Health & Social Care Partnership will be required to report progress at intervals of not more than 2 years, from the date on which the Equality Outcomes are published and revise outcomes at intervals of not more than 4 years. The report will:-

  • detail progress made in applying the public sector equality duty in mainstream organisational activity such as planning, listening to patients, service redesign and increasing workforce knowledge and skills on equality issues.
  • describe progress against the Equality Outcomes
  • describe the breadth of work on tackling inequality across all areas of East Dunbartonshire and highlight areas of good practice

In order to evidence how the HSCP is meeting its responsibilities, a set of performance measures are being developed in consultation with practitioners, to show progress towards specific outcomes. These measures will encompass a range of themes including:-

  • assessing and reviewing the impact of policies, strategies and plans
  • embedding inequalities sensitive practice through increase staff awareness and understanding
  • listening to and meaningfully engaging with service users and their carers
  • embedding equalities assessment criteria within procurement processes
  • working with partners to tackle the determinants of Inequalities.