The NHS Constitution
The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. It sets out rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled, and pledges which the NHS is committed to achieve, together with responsibilities which the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively.
7 key principles guide the NHS in all it does
- The NHS provides a comprehensive service, available to all
- Access to NHS services is based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay
- The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism
- NHS services must reflect the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers
- The NHS works across the organisational boundaries and in partnership with other organisations in the interest of patients, local communities and the wider population
- The NHS is committed to providing the best value for tax payers’ money and the most effective, fair and sustainable use of finite resources
- The NHS is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves
The NHS values have been developed by patients, public and staff to help express those principles
- Respect and dignity
- Commitment to quality of care
- Improving lives
- Working together for patients
- Everyone counts
This film produced by some volunteer members of Tameside & Glossop Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) of local patient representatives and supported by Tameside & Glossop CCG helps to try to explain what this may mean for patients who may experience disadvantage and may be from “harder to reach” community groups.
It aims to raise awareness amongst members of the public as well as NHS organizations about some of the inclusion issues encountered.
It helps to remind people about the positives to be gained by all when front line healthcare services and others understand individual differences when providing access to healthcare information, services and premises.
It is also about services being confident in dealing with people who may be in a vulnerable situation or be experiencing disadvantage, to ensure an inclusive patient journey for all.
Protected Characteristic Groups
The Equality Act 2010 sets our responsibilities for public sector organisations and their ‘provider’ partner organisations in terms of giving ‘due regard’ to the local protected groups when they introduce changes to information, services and premises. NHS organisations have a duty to consult on any negative impacts from such key changes on the people that are affected by those changes. This might means changes in strategy, policy or service re-designs for example.
Protected groups locally include:
- Gender (male female)
- Gender reassignment
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual)
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy maternity and breastfeeding mums
- Military veterans
Some local services that are available for patients to use include
The Haughton Green Centre next door to Haughton Vale surgery has a wide variety of services to help people within the Haughton Green locality with their physical. psychological and some debt problems that they may face.
Hyde Community Action for Healthy Living in the community including services for men, women and where their first language is not English (including Bengali speaking). Their ultimate aim is to make sure that people in Hyde enjoy the same life chances and quality of life as everyone else, regardless of age, ethnic origin, class, disability, gender, refugee status or sexuality
Patients and carers from local protected characteristic groups may sometimes be vulnerable, ‘harder to reach’ or may suffer multiple disadvantages. We know that all people take up or can experience services differently. Our NHS wants to ensure that staff are trained and patients’ experience of services ensures they can gain fair access to the healthcare services they need. This may involve making ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the way people can access information, services and premises. An example would be providing disabled persons’ parking spaces at GP Practices or hospitals – near to the main entrance. It could also involve making a key document available in Easy Read version for people with learning disabilities or literacy issues or for people who prefer plain English documents explaining strategies or other key changes.
Consumer Advisory Panel working with Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group
Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (T & G CCG) is the new commissioning organisation taking over from the Primary Care Trust on 1 April 2013. They make key decisions about buying healthcare services for local people to meet their needs. Local patient representatives from each of the protected groups, meet monthly with T&G CCG to look at key changes in services at the earliest stages of consideration. They scrutinise for any adverse impacts on the groups they represent, from such changes. They can make recommendations to decision makers which address any adverse impacts. In this way this local interest group helps to shape services which are inclusive for each of the local protected groups. The online film includes several short vignettes which focus on how services can be inclusive by taking into account some of the needs of patients and carers from vulnerable protected groups.
Annual Equality Publication: Tameside & Glossop CCG
Each year NHS organisations are required to show how they are giving ‘due regard’ to each of the protected groups. We are keen to collect patient data in terms of your protected group status so that we can use this information for service improvement purposes. Please click here to see how the CCG have performed around equality diversity and human rights in 2012.
The NHS Equality And Diversity Council
The NHS E&D Council is moving forward into the Personal Fair and Diversity Council in 2013. The new Health and Social Care Act 2012 means that our NHS have new responsibilities around equalities and health inequalities for vulnerable people.
The NHS has high aspirations for equality and diversity. Over the next 12 months the aim is to create a vibrant staff champions community, where ideas are freely exchanged locally and nationally. Champions will support their NHS trusts to deliver change that will result in tangible improvements in the health of local people and be of benefit to the wider NHS.
Tameside & Glossop Consumer Advisory Panel are a local patient voice, helping our CCG to shape services for local people and welcome new members as patient representatives who can bring feedback on changes in our NHS, from local interest groups.
Please send us an email on [email protected] if you would like more help or if you represent one of the Protected Patient Groups and would like to get more involved. We are keen to understand how to help you more and also to ensure as many people from the Protected Groups are also gaining access to their records and understandingtoo! Here is the latest information on how many patients have signed up already including those with learning difficulties, elderly patients, pregnant women and those who are of Bangladeshi origin.
With thanks to Julia Allen, Equality & Diversity Manager,
Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit
who helped to produce the information contained here