It is important to us, to tackle and reduce health inequalities and inequity in our communities. When ever we are planning engagement with our communities we firstly undertake an analysis of the issues in that population to understand who may be adversely affected by any change, and whether there are any particular groups that we need to really work hard to engage with, and listen to. We use the available information which we have described here. We also conduct reviews of existing knowledge and data — such as reports from Healthwatch and we listen to our Patient Participation Groups (PPGs), GPs and we investigate feedback from Connect, our soft intelligence system.
We then start to list who needs to know about the matter that we are engaging on — we call this a stakeholder analysis: Stakeholder analysis example . Following this we assess what are the best ways of reaching people, particularly those who have protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. As such it is against the law to discriminate against someone because of:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
We work very hard to ensure that (a) we consider and reach these groups as much as any other part of the population, but also (b) that when we have conducted any engagement, we collect detailed demographic data so that we can check this.
Examples of how we consider and focus on age groups was the children and young people engagement and for older people we have been engaging on Age UK services where we have targeted engagement to them via the services they use. Our engagement on hearing aid users started with a focus group of hearing aid users to gauge if they preferred meetings or online : their recommendations was an online survey — which we did.