​​​​​​​​Equality and Diversity

1. Vision 

Our vision is to improve health outcomes for the population of Merton by commissioning services tailored to the needs of individual patients whilst addressing the diverse health needs of our population.

Within our vision is the commitment and recognition that equality and human rights must be central to the way we plan and operate as a public body, an employer and a commissioner of healthcare services.

We understand and recognise that:

  • people can experience inequalities, discrimination, harassment and other barriers;
  • patients should be at the centre of our decision making, and in partnership we can deliver high quality, accessible services that tackle inequalities and respond to personal needs;
  • an environment of dignity, tolerance and mutual respect should be created, maintained and experienced by all our patients, staff and members. 
In delivering our vision to secure the best possible services for people in Merton and be an employer of choice, we embed equality and diversity in all key aspects of our commissioning and procurement cycles and employment practices and ensure we monitor, not just our own progress with commitment, but those who provide services on our behalf as well. 

The Equality Act 2010 places a requirement on the CCG, as a public body, to demonstrate how we are:

  • eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act.
  • advancing equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
  • fostering good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.
  • being transparent about how we are responding to the Equality Duty

​​We publish relevant, proportionate information showing compliance annually - you can read these reports later on this page.

As commissioners, we are determined to carry out these duties and go beyond requirements wherever possible. The following information outlines how we integrate equality and human rights into everything we do.

We want to make sure that  equality, diversity and inclusion are central to our vision, strategic direction and organisational development plans, where services are designed to meet the needs of the population and individuals and families.

2. Equality objectives

Merton CCG has legal duties to publish Equality Objectives every four years under the Equality Act 2010. 

Between July and September 2017, Merton CCG actively engaged different stakeholder groups to develop its new set of equality objectives for 2017-21. These objectives will be refreshed and renewed in keeping with the CCG's evolving circumstances.

  •  Health inequalities: Increase overall access to Merton Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services to 15% of the morbid population, with 25% of the referrals from BAME communities by March 2018.
  • Provider assurance: Ensure all providers provide clear information by March 2018 on how services commissioned have led to better outcomes and access for groups protected by the Equality Act.
  • Patient/public engagement: Undertake engagement with young people to raise awareness of mental health support services and remove barriers to accessing them over the next 12 months.
Read more about our progress with our equality objectives in our Public Sector Equality Duty report.

3. Understanding our local population 
In order to be effective commissioners, we need to understand our local population, identify those least likely to be heard, be proactive in reaching them through our engagement activities and consider the needs of those who experience the worst health outcomes. 

To do this we: 
  • Work with public health colleagues in the Local Authority to understand available data and information about the health and wellbeing of local people. You can read more about this on the London Borough of Merton website and in our Public Sector Equality Duty Report
  • Use our Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) to inform who we speak to during our engagement activities. As a result of intelligence from our EIAs we targeted BME communities during the community ophthalmology project and Merton Healthwatch ran five focus groups reaching people with physical and learning disabilities, mental health needs and children and young people as a result of an early EIA on the Improving Healthcare Together programme. You can read more about these and other projects in our PPI Annual Report 
  • Use a range of methods to reach and work with local people - for example, working through voluntary and community partners to talk to deprived communities about the development of the Wilson Health and Wellbeing Campus and through partnering with Healthwatch on the Grassroots programme, reaching the Polish community at a community event.
4. Engaging our communities

Ensuring we are engaging with all our communities is very important to us. 

We collect protected characteristic data when doing large scale engagement so that we can do our best to ensure we reach all these groups. We capture this by asking those who engage with us to complete an equality monitoring form. We use this information to decide if there are more groups we need to engage with, or indeed if we are engaging in the right ways to meet different communication needs.  

We recognise that different groups of people have different needs when it comes to engagement. We want to make sure those with disabilities and learning difficulties are supported to be involved in the most appropriate ways and are considered when we are planning who we need to engage with – so that no groups are overlooked. 

Every year, we run a Health Hub tent at the Mitcham Carnival – the only annual event in that area. We use this as an opportunity to speak to whole families and to reach those in the most deprived areas of Merton.   

The carnival, which this year was on the 20th of June 2018, had a footfall of around 1000 people.  In our tent, we hosted stalls with our partners: 

  • One You Merton – who offered health checks  
  • Spectra – who gave advice about sexual health services  
  • Age UK Merton – who gave advice for older people about how to stay well and about local services  
  • The GP federation   
  • Falls service   
  • Centre for independent living
As a CCG, we talked to people about the Expert Patients Programme, Wilson Health and Wellbeing Campus, NHS 70, accessing GP hubs and talking therapies. 

To make our tent as attractive as possible, we booked a face painter and smoothie bike – the rest of the event included dog shows, a fun fair, sporting activities and live music. 

Through attending this event, we made valuable connections with local people and organisations, which enriches our engagement reach. 

5. Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)

The PSED consists of general and specific duties for public authorities to meet under the Equality Act 2010, as set out above.

Merton CCG must demonstrate how we as an organisation are meeting our legal duties, and we must therefore publish information annually to show how we are doing this.

These documents provide a wealth of information about how, through commissioning, we are working to reduce health inequalities. 

6. Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

The Workforce Race Equality Standard is a set of indicators that, for the first time, require all organisations with NHS contracts, to demonstrate progress against a number of areas of race equality. We are committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do in the CCG and to seek assurance from our Providers that they do the same to meet contractual requirements in relation to the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) and Equality Delivery System (EDS2).

The WRES provides robust evidence of our progress, monitored by frequent feedback.

7. Equalities Impact Assessments 

At the very start of any project, an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is undertaken. This is to ensure that the project has considered any impacts it will have on the nine protected characteristics and other vulnerable groups and ensures this informs who we engage with as part of the project . This process is embedded in our governance processes - no project can progress unless an EIA has been produced.

If you want to find out more about our Equality Impact Assessments, please contact the engagement team. 

8. Equalities Monitoring 

We collect protected characteristic data when doing large scale engagement so that we can do our best to ensure we reach all these groups. We capture this by asking those who engage with us to complete an equality monitoring form. We use this information to decide if there are more groups we need to engage with, or indeed if we are engaging in the right ways to meet different communication needs. 

Please click on the link to view our  Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form 2019.

By understanding what local patients, carers and residents need, the CCG is able identify, design, and deliver projects that help us to reduce health inequalities. Our patient and public involvement activities are informed by equalities impact assessments and equalities monitoring, which highlight specific groups we need to focus on.

The table below demonstrates how we have engaged with our diverse communities during our commissioning work over the last 12 months – we have also included carers and those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged.  

Equalities Monitoring.JPG

9. Equality Delivery System​

The Equality Delivery System (EDS) is a performance improvement tool developed by NHS England to help organisations such as Merton CCG deliver better outcomes for patients and communities and improve the working environment for staff.  Each year we select two priority areas to focus on in terms of improving access and reducing health inequalities. Through reviewing these two services with stakeholders, local people and the voluntary and community sector, a set of grades are arrived at and an action plan. Read our 2018/19 report below. 

Merton CCG EDS2 report December 2018.pdf

​Plans are currently underway to undertake the EDS assessment for 2019/20.

Appendix 2 - Merton CCG Draft EDS2 Report  11 December 2018.docx
EDS2 Summary Report 2016-17 - Complex Depression and Anxiety Services Goals 1 and 2.pdf
EDS2 Summary Report 2016-17 - Translation and Interpretation Services at GP Practices - Goals 1 and 2.pdf
Merton CCG EDS2 report December 2018.pdf
Merton CCG Equality and Diversity Vision Statement May 2016.pdf
NHS England EDS2 Summary report 2015-16 Community Mental Health Services for Dementia.pdf
NHS England EDS2 Summary report 2015-16 Early Intervention in Psychosis.pdf
NHS England EDS2 Summary report 2015-16 Patient Education for Type 2 Diabetes.pdf
NHS Merton CCG Annual Public Sector Equality Duty Report January 2019.pdf

​​Further information​

To find out more about the equality programme, or to get involved, please contact Head of Engagement and Equalities, Merton CCG, at fiona.gaylor@swlondon.nhs.uk.​

Updated March 2016