Our Commitment to Equality and Patient Experience

This page will provide you with information regarding our commitment to providing our patients with equal opportunity. There is also a section on costings for work outside of the doctor’s NHS contracted protocol this would include supporting medical reports for work, housing, school, DVLA etc. These are also subject to the doctor’s discretion based on the national BMA (British Medical Association) charges.

Equality Objectives 2015 & NHS Patient Experience Framework

The Equality Act 2010 places certain responsibilities on public sector organizations such as hospitals and GP Practices.

These are:

  • To eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, and victimization
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not
  • Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not
  • To publish equality objectives at least every four years
  • Provide information to demonstrate their compliance with the equality duty at least annually

Currently the public sector Equality Duty applies to all public authorities, including NHS organizations, so covers acute hospitals, primary care trusts, strategic health authorities, mental health and community trusts, ambulance trusts and all foundation trusts.

So what does this mean for our Practice? Well at present, there is no obligation for us to publish Equality Objectives however, we take our responsibilities seriously and share the ethos of this initiative. Therefore, we offer this commitment to our staff and patients:

“that we will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of”:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race – this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
  • Religion or belief – this includes lack of belief
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation

Furthermore the practice, in accordance with the Equality Act, also explicitly recognises that disabled peoples’ needs may be different from those of non-disabled people.

For example, our practice premises are audited each year to ensure that we comply with the requirements of the Equality Duty Act. We provide disabled car parking spaces, lowered section of our reception desk, hearing loop and wheelchair accessibility. The records of those patients are duly noted in order to prompt the reception team to offer additional help as required.

The practice has a range of policies that apply to all staff and visitors to the building, which cover every aspect of our duties under the Equality Act. These ensure that all our staff are treated fairly and without discrimination in any form.

For our patients, we will not discriminate in the offer of admission to our practice list, treatment or service. The only limitation (not covered by the Equality Duty Act) is that of geographical location. This is to ensure that we are able to offer a full service, so meeting the Health & Social Care Bill requirement to provide local services for local people.

Through the local Integrated Care System, we will try to ensure that any decisions about policies, service improvement or implementation take account of disabled peoples’ needs through appropriate consultation. As the ICS is a legal entity in its own right, it keeps a responsibility under the Act, to publish its own Equality Policy and Objectives.

We do take into account all comments, suggestions and complaints when reviewing our service provision. We would encourage any patient who feels that we have not met our commitment, to contact the Practice Manager to discuss their concerns. We are fully committed to improving all aspects of the services we offer, but are unable to do this without your help and feedback. If you would like to take this a step further, you are very welcome to join our Patient Participation Group to join please email patientgroup.wmp@nhs.net

We are also committed to supporting the NHS Patient Experience Framework. In October 2011, the NHS Quality team agreed on some measures to help the NHS measure patient experience of services. The framework or objectives gives details on the main areas where patient experience matters most. These are

  • Respect for patient values, preference and needs which include dignity, privacy, an awareness of quality of life issues and to ensure the patient shares in the decision process about their treatment – In the Health & Social Care Bill this is called “no decision about me without me”
  • That NHS services will coordinate and integrate with each other to provide you with a smooth transfer between services, for example when your GP refers you to a hospital consultant
  • Information, communication and education – so to make sure we tell other clinical staff enough about you for them to be able to treat you effectively, tell you your results and treatments and help you to look after yourself
  • Physical comfort – this means things like helping patients with pain management and relief to ensuring our practice premises are clean and comfortable
  • Emotional support – to help you understand your condition and treatment so that you do not feel as anxious or frightened, and look at the impact of any illness, on you, your family and your finances
  • Welcoming the involvement of family and friends on whom you as a patient might rely, for example a carer
  • Transition and continuity – this probably applies mainly to hospital but for your GP it would mean supporting you to becoming independent and self-caring after either an illness or operation, or perhaps having been diagnosed with a long term condition such as diabetes
  • Access to care – how easy it is to contact us by telephone, book appointments and even how long you have to wait to be called by the doctor for your appointment. We already undertake patient surveys every year around this topic and are always striving to improve.