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Our Equality, Diversity and Human Rights commitments

North Central London ICB is committed to commissioning the best care for the diverse population we serve, recognising that services need to be designed with equality, diversity, and human rights at the core of business and decision-making.

We are committed to fulfilling our equality duties and obligations to reduce health inequalities in all aspects of our roles and functions. The values underpinning equality, diversity, and human rights are central to policy making, service planning, employment practices, and commissioning.

For our staff, we aim to create a working culture that recognises, respects, and values differences for the benefit of the organisation, the individual, and the community.


Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It sets out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone.

General equality duty and the ICB policy response:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

To meet the general duty, the ICB will publish its equality objectives and produce the annual equality information report. In doing so, the ICB will:

  • Ensure policies and services are routinely assessed to eliminate and minimise any negative impact and remove barriers.
  • Take steps to meet the differing needs of people.
  • Encourage participation of patients and the public in decision-making.
Protected characteristics
The Equality Act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. These characteristics refer to the groups of people who are specifically offered protection by the Act.

  • Age – A person belonging to a particular age or age group. People of different ages include children, younger people and older people.
  • Gender – Both men and women are protected under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Gender Reassignment – People who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) to reassign their sex by changing physiological or other physical attributes of sex.
  • Disability –  People who have a disability or a physical or mental impairment and it has substantial and long term adverse effect on an individual’s ability to carry out normal daily living activities.
  • Race – People characterised by shared ethnicity, colour, nationality (including citizenship) and ethnic or national origins.
  • Pregnancy and Maternity – The law covers pregnant women or those who have given birth within the last 26 weeks, and those who are breast-feeding.
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership – In the Equality Act marriage and civil partnership means someone who is legally married or in a civil partnership. People do not have this characteristic if they are single.
  • Religion/Belief – In the Equality Act religion or belief can mean any religion, for example an organised religion like Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Buddhism; or a smaller religion like Rastafarianism or Paganism, as long as it has a clear structure and belief system. The Equality Act also covers non-belief or a lack of religion or belief.


Human Rights
Everyone in the UK is protected under the Human Rights Act 1998. The ICB, as a public authority, is obliged by law to respect the basic human rights of all citizens. As a public body we must at all times act in a manner compatible with the rights protected in this Act and safeguard these for patients and staff in our care and employment.

Human Rights are underpinned by a set of common values and have been adopted by the NHS under the acronym FREDA.

The FREDA principles represent:

  • Fairness (e.g. fair and transparent grievance and complaints procedures)
  • Respect (e.g. respect for same sex couples, teenage parents, homeless)
  • Equality (e.g. not being denied treatment due to age, sex, race etc.)
  • Dignity (e.g. sufficient staff to change soiled sheets, help patient to eat/drink)
  • Autonomy (e.g. involving people in decisions about their treatment and care)

Consideration of human rights is also given in our Equality Analysis process, to ensure that our policies and strategies are compatible with the rights afforded by this Act.


Equality Information (Public Sector Equality Duty Report)
Publishing equality information every year is a specific duty under the Equality Act. Our Equality Information Report provides information about how the ICB is meeting its commitment to making continuous improvements in advancing equality for our patients and staff.

Our Equality Information Reports:


Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2021-23

We have co-produced with our stakeholders a two-year Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for 2021-23. The strategy has been developed based on the public sector equality duty, current and future health inequalities, and workforce priorities. It includes two specific equality objectives on health and workforce inequalities with particular outcomes and four system enablers to ensure robust and effective implementation. We have engaged internal and external stakeholders in developing these objectives and enablers and have developed an annual action plan. The strategy is available here.

Change Key equality priorities for 2020-2025 to Key Equality Priorities 2021-23

Patients and communities priorities:

  1. Reduce mental health inequalities
  2. Reduce cancer inequalities
  3. Reduce inequalities in access to primary care and out-of-hour services

As an ICB, we continuously explore ways to improve equality in health outcomes for all our populations. We put equality, diversity, and human rights at the heart of our commissioning decisions.

  • We want to ensure all our decisions are equality impact assessed (equality analysis) and they are robustly completed focusing on three key components: equality and equity, engagement, and health inequalities. Outcomes of our equality analysis are fed into the equality action planning process and be shared with our stakeholders and providers as appropriate.
  • We engage with our patients and carers from diverse backgrounds in commissioning.
  • We will continue to work collaboratively with our partners, the voluntary sector, and providers to advance equality.

Workforce priorities:

  1. Address bullying and harassment
  2. De-bias recruitment and ensure fairness and just culture.
  3. Workplace support including reasonable adjustment and safe space

We recognise that promoting and supporting diversity in the workplace is an important aspect of good people management – it’s about valuing people in the organisation as unique individuals and offering them equality of opportunity in career progression and promotion.

We aim to have a workforce that reflects the local community we serve. To achieve this, we will offer every staff member opportunities so that they can be the best they want to be – and they help us make our organisation a better and more inclusive place where every staff can thrive and feel a sense of belonging.

We will set up Staff Networks to support staff and help the ICB address issues facing our staff. Our People Plan will include specific measures and interventions on how the ICB can advance equality of opportunity for all and will consist of actions to improve staff experience.