Patient Safety Commissioner for Scotland Bill Advisory Group meeting paper: June 2022

Paper from the meeting of the group on 14 June 2022.

Equalities Impact Assessment – discussion paper

What is it?

The equalities impact assessment (EQIA) is a systematic and evidence-based tool which enables the Scottish Government to consider the likely impact of work on different groups of people. 

It is designed to ensure that our policies, services and legislation do not discriminate against anyone and, where possible, promote equality of opportunity.

Why do we need it?

The EQIA allows us to consider equality issues as a Bill is developed. This is required by law. In particular, the process identifies the impact of the Bill on people who share certain protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, such as:

  • disability
  • sex
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • sexual orientation
  • gender re-assignment
  • age
  • pregnancy and maternity

Fairer Scotland Duty Impact Assessment

What is the Fairer Scotland Duty?

The Fairer Scotland Duty came into force in Scotland from April 2018. 

It requires Scottish ministers and named public bodies to actively consider what more can be done to reduce the 'inequalities of outcome' caused by 'socio-economic disadvantage' when making 'strategic decisions'.

What do we mean by socio-economic disadvantage?

Socio-economic disadvantage is a complex, multidimensional problem, closely related to poverty. Having less access to resources can mean that individuals fare worse on outcomes including health, housing, education or opportunities to work or train. These negative outcomes can reinforce each other. 

Adversity in childhood can have life-long impacts, and growing up in poverty is associated with poorer educational attainment, employment prospects and health inequalities. Therefore, it is crucial that we consider the impact our decisions have on socio-economic disadvantage and the inequality of outcome that both adults and children may experience as a result.

When thinking about socio economic disadvantage we need to consider: 

  • people on low incomes
  • people in deprived areas (and particular communities of place and interest)
  • people with no/low wealth or in debt
  • people in material deprivation
  • people from different social classes

Health Inequalities Impact Assessment 

What is a Health Inequalities Impact Assessment? 

The Health Inequalities Impact Assessment (HIIA) is a tool to assess the impact on people of applying a proposed, new or revised policy or practice. The HIIA goes beyond the Equalities Impact Assessment by assessing:

  • health inequalities specifically
  • people with protected characteristics
  • human rights
  • socio-economic circumstances

The HIIA prompts thinking about potential differential impacts based on income, employment, social and cultural status.

What we need from you

As you will see from the advisory group agenda, we have planned some breakout sessions where we will ask you to consider some questions which are designed to get you thinking about any potential advantages or disadvantages the establishment of the Patient Safety Commissioner may have on certain groups. This will help inform each of the impact assessments we are required to complete for the Patient Safety Commissioner Bill.  

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