Summary of findings
This EQIA has identified positive impacts of implementing the Coming Home Report recommendations for people with learning disabilities and complex care needs, who are defined in legislation within the disability protected characteristic. By returning people to their local communities from delayed discharges and inappropriate out-of-area placements, they will be included and involved and this will have positive impacts for island communities. Many people with learning disabilities and complex care needs are living on low income and this policy is likely to have additional positive impacts when examined from a socioeconomic perspective.
This EQIA has not identified any negative impacts of this policy for any of the protected characteristic groups.
This policy is therefore assessed as not directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010.
What have we done
The evidence review found that there was no bespoke and routinely collected disaggregated data on people with learning disabilities and complex care needs. Recognising the challenges this poses to developing impactful and effective policy making, we have included disaggregated data collection on equalities within the Dynamic Support Register.
We have made clear in the guidance the fundamental importance of this data being self-reported, given the evidence that assumptions about people with learning disabilities and their characteristics may be made on their behalf.
We will conduct an Island Communities Impact Assessment and develop policy, such as the National Support Panel, using data from the Dynamic Support Registers.
What we will do
The evidence collected and assessed indicates that the three key recommendations within the Coming Home Implementation Report will have a positive impact upon those with a disability protected characteristic.
We have committed to designing a national reporting mechanism that takes account of all protected characteristics and will report data with an equalities perspective in order to avoid any disproportionate impacts of policy and practice upon people with learning disabilities and complex care needs and protected characteristics. The incorporation of protected characteristics data within routine data collection within the policy will enable this to be assessed on an ongoing basis.
With a foundation of greater data and evidence, we will be able to work with the National Support Panel and Peer Support Network to design and implement national policy; and embed practice that is fair, does not disadvantage and enables people to have their human rights respected.
The Scottish Government recognises there is a lack of disaggregated data available for people with learning disabilities and complex care needs and many of the data sources include additional individuals beyond those with learning disabilities and complex care needs in their analysis. When considering evidence and data from aggregate groups of people (people with learning disabilities) there is a risk that particular issues faced by people with learning disabilities and complex care needs are masked within wider demographic data.
Not all this evidence is specific to Scotland, and due to the nature of the data collection, there are often notable differences between sets of data gathered by different institutions and researchers which poses issues for comparability and applicability in different contexts.
Particular consideration should be given to the fact that protected characteristics are not independent of each other and some people may experience multiple and interconnected issues related to disadvantage at any one time.
The evidence shows that there are impacts on people's experience, opportunities and life-chances due to protected characteristics, and it is necessary to monitor and record these in order to adapt and respond through effective policy making.
It will be necessary to revisit this EQIA to take account of any changes that occur through the policy development as a result of new data being made available. This EQIA is to be viewed as requiring regular review and updating.
Monitoring and Review
It is an accepted recommendation that the Scottish Government will keep this EQIA analysis under regular review, with new data and evidence analysed as we improve data collection, in order to monitor the impact of the Coming Home Implementation Report on people with protected characteristics.
I am satisfied with the equality impact assessment that has been undertaken for the three key recommendations of the Coming Home Implementation Report and give my authorisation for the results of this assessment to be published on the Scottish Government's website.
Name: Hugh McAloon
Position: Interim Director, Mental Health Directorate
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