NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde: equality impact assessments *
In order to meet the requirements of the public sector equality duty, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde committed to assess all new policies, service re-designs and efficiency savings to measure their impact on different protected groups. An Equality Impact Assessment toolkit was developed which explicitly requires staff to identify the needs and impact on lesbian, gay and bisexual people. For the toolkit see Appendix 9. In 2011 the health board undertook a review of completed Equality Impact Assessments to see if there were any trends or patterns that needed to be actioned and prioritised.
This review process identified that sexual orientation was consistently under-reported in Equality Impact Assessments and that, in comparison to the other protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010, services were least likely to be proactively tackling homophobia. This finding was supported by a review of the health board’s first Equality Scheme which also reported lower levels of activity in understanding, identifying and removing barriers to services for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
In response to these findings and in order to comply with the duty, the health board developed a Tackling Homophobia Campaign to improve attitudes and behaviours across the organisation. The campaign involved a microsite www.nhsggc.org.uk/homophobia that was promoted to all staff through the intranet, staff newsletters and the equalities e-bulletins, as well as via a roadshow to further engage employees in different teams and different areas. The campaign included a good practice guide for employees on acceptable language and behaviour in the workplace (see Appendix 10). The campaign has received 10,000 website hits, 2000 email pledges and 800 photograph pledges, as well as public support from high profile figures including the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
* Review of the public sector equality duty, Call for evidence Stonewall response [April 2013]