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Embedding equalities and inclusive decision making in the LLR system

We helped an integrated care system implement a framework for making decisions that addresses bias and improves how equality is considered from the outset of decisions and proposals. 

Background

The Inclusive Decision Making Framework (IDMF) is developed to embed equality and health inequality considerations within decision making. Our Equality and Inclusion team helped implement the framework in the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care System (ICS). There are specific steps that embed equality and health inequality considerations within each stage of the decision making process:

  • Foster a culture of inclusive decision making across the system
  • Provide a shared equality, diversity and inclusion resource across different partners
  • Provide practical steps to ensure that the needs of different communities and staff are considered when planning
  • Meet the challenges of delivering the NHS Long Term Plan across the system
  • Meet legal duties – in terms of equality, human rights and reducing health inequalities.

Action

We began in Spring 2021 by delivering workshops and engagement sessions for key stakeholders. We developed a range of supporting documents, communications and resources and shared them across the ICS for information and guidance.

To implement the framework, there was a period of transition of processes and systems at all partner organisations. To support this, we designed and delivered more workshops to trusts, local authorities and clinical commissioning group to outline best practice on how to use and embed the principles of the framework.

Each workshop included academic and theory based information and practical examples from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland case studies and ongoing work. Interactive elements ensured attendees were engaged and involved. An overview of the key transition steps was also provided in a pre-workshop delegate pack.

The workshops included discussions around the decision making process, fostering a culture of inclusive decision making, the importance of due regard and how to practically apply the specific steps.

Impact

The IDMF is an innovative approach that addresses bias and improves how equality is considered from the outset of decisions and proposals. Its successful implementation should help ensure that the needs of patients and staff from protected characteristic groups are embedded within every decision that is made across the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland system.

It will also ensure that insight gathered from Equality Impact Assessments informs every project and is included in any project planning documentation. This provides assurance that partner organisations meet the Public Sector Equality Duty and other legislative requirements.

Successful integration of the IDMF into current and future processes requires support from all partners and staff involved in decision making. A total of 12 IDMF workshops were delivered including two tailor-made sessions for the system’s People Board / Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Task group and one for a hospital’s People Services team.

Workshops were attended by a total of 147 staff from across the system who are helping to embed the IDMF within each of their teams and workstreams.