Tackling Health Inequalities
NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group understands that by working to tackle health inequalities we can help secure improved health outcomes for our local population.
The 2015-2020 Health and Wellbeing Strategy – a key output of the local Health and Wellbeing Board – highlights a number of local challenges including:
- Health inequalities facing those living in our most disadvantaged communities
- An increasing proportion of older people - a large proportion of whom have complex needs
- An increase in unhealthy lifestyles leading to preventable diseases and early death
- The need to ensure equal access to services for vulnerable groups including those living with mental ill-health, physical disabilities, and / or learning disabilities, children living in care, gypsies and travellers and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community
We commission a diverse range of services in different locations to help address health inequalities. We also recognise that only by working in partnership across the whole health and social care economy will the greatest success in reducing health inequalities be achieved.
We know that people’s health, access to services and experiences can be affected by factors such as their age, gender, disability, race, sex, sexual orientation and religion/beliefs. As commissioners we are committed to commissioning services that meet the needs of everyone in our communities and we strive to continue to improve access for patients, in part by meeting our Public Sector Equality Duty and our requirements under the Equality Act 2010.
We are also acutely aware that issues such as poverty, deprivation and unemployment are among the key determinants of health outcomes. One powerful example of our commitment to reducing health inequalities is our work with the West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission. Key priorities identified by the Poverty Truth Commission include mental health, ensuring a person-centred approach and making systems easier to access and navigate around.
Mechanisms used to help improve access and outcomes include:
- Making fair and transparent commissioning decisions using equality analyses, considering our Public Sector Equality Duty and using quality schedules to improve the equality performance of our providers
- A strong emphasis on patient and public involvement in care commissioning to provide greater opportunity to influence commissioning to help address health inequalities
- Supporting and engaging with the work of the West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission
- Partnership working with the local authority and the community, voluntary and faith sector and working closely with Public Health colleagues to affect positive change
- Undertaking Equality Delivery System self-assessment
- Promoting the implementation of reasonable adjustments