South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

Special Interest Panel

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust invites a wide range of local interest groups and organisations to nominate representatives to sit on a local NHS Equalities Panel.  The panel members are invited to attend training sessions where the principles of the Equality Delivery System are discussed along with the application of the grading criteria to assess SWFT performance against the 18 outcomes. The panel’s first meeting took  place in January 2012 and this assessment process will be held yearly along with discussions about how the Trust has progressed: The panels include the following representatives:

• Voluntary sector community infrastructure organisations
• LiNKS and in the future their successor bodies Health Watch
• Local Authority leads
• voluntary sector organisations representing the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010
• 2 Foundation Trust members
• Staff Governor
• Trade Union Representatives

The panels are around 10 to 12 in number.

This panels follow the below process:

The Department of Health has produced a grading manual to accompany the process. You can read the full manual here.

Panel members receive training on how to use the Grading Manual to allocate the available scores.

Four grades are available:
• Undeveloped - Red
• Developing - Amber
• Achieving - Green
• Excelling - Purple

Panel members review the evidence provided by SWFT for each equality outcome and for each protected characteristic within it.

The grading is evidence based. Where no evidence can be provided, the grade will remain as ‘undeveloped’. Detailed guidance and worked examples on how to score are contained within the national EDS manual which is made available to all panel members.

To inform the grading process, SWFT provides a detailed written report summarising evidence available from the Joint Negotiating and Consultative Committee (JNCC), published patient survey feedback, staff survey feedback, as well as internal monitoring data by the end of January. This information will form the basis of the data required by law on 31 January 2012 and will form part of legal compliance with the Equality Act.

The panel will also be asked, as set out in the legislation, for its views on future NHS equality priorities.