The CQC have laid out their Equality Objectives for 2021-2025, in the name of making sure everyone has access to good quality care, experience and outcomes within health and social care services.
The commission have published this at a time when they have seen the COVID-19 pandemic shine a light on longstanding inequalities across the health and social care sector.
The Equality Objectives are in line with their strategy and core purpose along with the duty to publish objectives that meet Equality Act 2010 regulations.
Part of the CQC’s strategy is to make everyone in health and social care aware of their causes and take action to address them – “including leaders who influence what happens locally”.
As an independent regulator, the CQC will “take appropriate regulatory action or speak up where care isn’t good enough for any groups of people”.
The five equality objectives are priorities and aim to help deliver equality for:
- People who use health and social care services
- People working in health and social care
- Health and care providers that the CQC regulate
- The CQC’s own workforce
Here are the Equality Objectives and their main features:
Equality Objective 1 – Amplifying the voices of people most likely to have a poorer experience of care or have difficulty accessing care
- The CQC will aim to respond more systematically to individual concerns, namely improving equality monitoring when people share information with them. They will also look at how individual experiences, including discrimination and human rights concerns should trigger certain actions.
- Increase the amount of digital and non-digital feedback from people most likely to have a poorer experience of care using online services, local organisations, in-person communication and campaigns.
- Encourage local providers and systems to actively seek out and listen to feedback.
Equality Objective 2 – Using data to understand and respond to equality risks
- “Equalities by design approach” – The CQC will use data to understand and respond to inequalities and human rights risks.
- This includes building on their intelligence development work around ‘closed cultures’ and improvements to their Mental Health Act programmes, developing intelligence on black women’s experience using hospital maternity services and how GP practices can reduce health inequalities for people with learning disabilities.
Equality Objective 3 – Working with others to improve equality of access, experience and outcomes
The CQC will review who they work with and how they work with them to “push for equality of access, experience and outcomes” and will include more local system level working.
Equality Objective 4 – Using their independent voice to reduce inequalities
- At a provider, local area and national level, the CQC will use their voice to highlight concerns and share innovation and good practice.
- They will report on how organisations within areas are working together to reduce inequalities and use this learning to improve their own regulation.
Equality Objective 5 – The inclusive future: delivering on their diversity and inclusion strategy for their workforce
Over the next 3 years, the CQC aim to achieve an inclusive commission, where staff can flourish and where ultimately, everyone can make a difference to the quality of health and social care. This inclusive future strategy focuses on the following four priorities:
- Inclusive leadership and accountability
- Inclusive culture
- Inclusive engagement
- Inclusive policies and practices