Care Quality Commission
‘Too much’ inequality across health and social care, finds CQC
Recently, we have published our annual equality information report,Equal Measures, which summarises what we have learned about equality and diversity, both across health and social care and internally last year.
In this, we have found that while seeing some improvements, there is still too much variation in people’s access, experience and outcomes in many health and social care services. For example, the fact that more ethnic groups seem to use certain hospital services more than other groups suggests that access could be an issue. Also, we have found that people with dementia have poorer outcomes in hospitals than those without dementia going into hospital for the same health conditions; and, that the needs of people with visual impairment and hearing loss within care homes are sometimes overlooked.
As well as this, we have found that there is too much variation in equality for staff who work within these services, with increasing evidence showing that there is a link between the discrimination experienced by staff and the quality of care provided. We have used these findings to set our equality objectives for the year ahead and beyond.
David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission said:
“People expect to receive health and social care services which provide them with safe, effective, compassionate, and high-quality care – no matter who they are.
“We know that when providers ensure equality for their staff, this improves the quality of care that they provide to their communities.
“This is an important characteristic of a well-led service and we will assess it during our inspections. The objectives that we have outlined in our report centre on tackling equality variation in services and within our organisation. They will help us to go further in achieving change for people use health and social care and our own staff.
Our equality objectives for 2015-17 as an employer are to:
- Deliver learning and development for all of our staff by March 2016, to address ‘unconscious bias’.
- Work towards having no difference in the employment outcomes for our staff or potential recruits because of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender reassignment, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.
Our equality objectives for 2015-17 that CQC will deliver in our work are to:
- Include race equality for staff as a factor in our judgements about whether hospitals are well-led (using the NHS workforce race equality standard, published this week).
- Improve our regulatory insight and action about the safety and quality of mainstream health services for people with a learning disability or dementia, or those experiencing mental ill-health.
- Help our inspectors to make consistent and robust judgements about particular aspects of equality, such as by looking at the transition of young disabled people into adult services, and a focus on whether adult social care services are meeting the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and people with a sensory impairment.
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