Our amazing volunteer researcher Teleola Cartwright, completed an audit of compliance of local public bodies with the requirements of the specific duties of the Equality Act to publish equality data and at least one specific and measurable objective. For the first time since this requirement came into force in 2011, two organisations in the County achieved compliance. Both Northampton General Hospital Trust and Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust achieved this for 2014 despite not being leaders in the audit in 2013.
The reason for the specific duty is so that there can be real transparency about what public bodies are doing on equality and an opportunity for public bodies to demonstrate that they are prioritising the best actions to redress inequalities in their organisation. There is an expectation that public bodies will collect information about both staff and service users and identify what numbers of people in protected characteristics that they are employing or using their services. There is also an expectation that with the data that should be published annually the is a narrative that draws some conclusions about the results that are published.
In the past, there have been public bodies that have produced good quality data year on year, however until this round of the audit the big sticking point was the publication of a specific and measurable equality objective. You can read more about what the Equality and Human Rights Commission regarded as necessary and what they found when they looked a public bodies response nationally to the specific duty here.
We’re really pleased that Northampton General Hospital and Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust achieved compliance and look forward to seeing more of their good work over the course of this year.