Equality impact assessments

Equality impact assessments (EIAs) are a tool to help us to examine the main functions and policies of the Trust to see whether they have the potential to affect people differently. As a public sector organisation we are required by law to adhere to the aims of the public sector equality duty detailed in the Equality Act (2010). These aims are:

  • To eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited under the Equality Act (2010)
  • To advance equality of opportunity between people who share any of the nine protected characteristics and those that don’t
  • To foster good relations between people who share any of the nine protected characteristics and those that don’t.

This means that we need to consciously think about:

  • how we act as an employer
  • how we develop, evaluate and review Trust policy
  • how we design, deliver and evaluate services
  • how we commission and procure from others.

Equality impact assessments need to be undertaken with full engagement from appropriate local interests or stakeholders, and those who will be directly affected by the policy or service change, for example policies which relate to employees should be assessed in conjunction with staff and staff side representatives and service changes should be assessed in conjunction with patients or stakeholder groups. We do not plan to publish impact assessments, however the results of impact assessments can be accessed by the general public on request via the external website equality and diversity pages.

It is the responsibility of the policy author or the person responsible for the proposed service change to engage with the appropriate stakeholders and to carry out the initial equality impact assessment. This is a generic form and should be used for all equality impact assessments. The completed form should be sent (as a separate document) with the final policy when it is submitted for approval.  

Policies and services need to be considered to show if they have the potential to affect any one group more or less favourably than another, paying particular regard to people who share any of the following nine protected characteristics outlined in the Equality Act (2010):

  • age
  • sex or gender
  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • gender re-assignment.

Assessments rated as having a high impact or high risk for the organisation should be reported through the Quality Governance Steering Group who may recommend that risks are added to the corporate or divisional Risk registers as appropriate.