Equality Impact Assessment: Services by o1D45ZcK


									 Equality Impact Assessment

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team

       February 2011
                 Equality Impact Assessment: Services

Title of service being assessed:              Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team

                                              Adults and Communities Department:
Department and Section:
                                              Personal Care and Support
Names and roles of office completing          Service Manager
this assessment.                              Personal Care and Support

Contact Telephone Numbers:                    0116 2787111

Date assessment completed:                    February 6th 2011

                                      Defining the service

1. What are the aims, objectives or purpose of the service? Are these reflected in the relevant
   service plan?

This Equality Impact Assessment is being carried out on the proposal to refocus the work of the
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team, following the review and options analysis undertaken in
respect of the service between April – September 2010.

The main aim and purpose of the Equality Impact Assessment is to ensure that the service
currently provided by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team is still available to this group of
service users without any adverse impact on them.

The Adults and Communities Department is facing a period of significant transformation as it
embeds the Personalisation Programme and delivers the efficiencies and service reductions set
out in the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2010/11 - 2013/14. The MTFS set
out a savings target of £33m for the Adults and Communities Department which has
subsequently increased to £43m following the coalition government budget.

Each service area in the Council is undertaking service reviews and identifying efficiency
savings, and although no specific target has been identified for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Team it is expected that savings will be achieved as part of the overall requirement in respect of
the new Departmental Care Pathway.

Until 2005 the Deaf and Hard of Hearing service had been provided on behalf of the three local
authorities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland by Action Deafness, a voluntary sector
organisation (formerly the Centre for Deaf People). Management of the service was then
transferred to Leicestershire County Council. The property in which the team are situated was
owned by Action Deafness until 2010, when the build was sold, meaning that the lease will
expire in April 2011 necessitating relocation of the service. Given this, the requirement to
achieve efficiency savings and the need to ensure fit between the serviced provided by the
team and the new care pathway for the Adults and Communities Department the favoured
option identified by the review was disaggregation of the service, and this was agreed by
Departmental Management Team in November 2010.
Therefore, with effect from April 2011 the work currently undertaken by the team on behalf of
the Children and Young Persons Service will be undertaken by the Disabled Children’s Team
and Leicester City Council will absorb the work relating to the needs of City residents with a
hearing impairment within their existing social care service. Rutland County Council has
formally requested that Leicestershire County Council continue to host the service on their
behalf and this has been agreed in principle by Departmental Management Team.

It is also proposed that the team will relocate to County Hall with effect from 1 April 2011 when
the lease agreement in respect of the team’s current base expires.As the refurbishment of
County Hall is currently in progress as part of the Office Strategy,office space on the campus is
at a premium.It is therefore not possible to accommodate the team at County Hall immediately
upon the end of the lease for current accommodation in April 2011.It is therefore intended that
interim accommodation will be provided for the team at Romulus Court,Meridian Business Park.

The current Deaf and Hard of Hearing team provides a specialist social work rehabilitation and
equipment service, including the operation of its own discrete referral/duty system. The
proposals for the team reflect the need for integration of the service with the Customer Service
Centre and the new Departmental Care Pathway, whilst continuing to retain a specialist function
relating to people with a hearing impairment. The team will therefore operate as a ‘hosted’
service in Personal Care and Support, overseen by one of the locality managers, which will
enable the retention of staff with appropriate skills and experience and address the specific
issues relating to access to Departmental services as they affect people with a hearing

Caseload volumes have decreased over the past year and it is evident that in relation to
services other than equipment the team is over resourced relative to other Departmental teams
with an assessment and care management function. The proposed structure of the new team
therefore comprises of 0.5fte social worker, 0.5fte community support worker, 1.5fte
rehabilitation workers, 0.5fte equipment officer and 1fte customer services adviser.

The key aims and objectives of the proposed service will be to:

      Continue to provide a specialist social care service to deaf and hard of hearing people.
      Implementation of the new self directed support pathway, including the roll out of
       personal budgets.
      Integration of the service with the Customer Service Centre.
      Development of improved advice, information and guidance to all deaf and hard of
       hearing people, irrespective of their eligibility for services.
      Delivering of improved preventive and reablement services.

2. What outcomes does the service want to achieve and for whom? How have these been
   determined? Please also list any relevant performance indicators.

The outcomes for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people are consistent with those for the Adults
and Communities Department as a whole, as set out in the White Paper ‘Our Health, Our Care,
Our Say’.
Implementation of the Self Directed Support pathway within the service will ensure that people
with a hearing impairment have access to personal budgets, thereby benefiting from the greater
choice and control over the way their services are delivered this brings.

Integration of the team within the new Care Pathway will raise awareness of the needs of
people with a hearing impairment within the wider Department.

Disaggregation of the service and relocation of the team will facilitate a greater focus on
Leicestershire residents with a hearing impairment.

The overall outcome is to have efficient and targeted services delivered within a reduced

Whilst no specific performance indicators have been formally set for the proposed new service,
those that apply to the wider Department will apply namely:

      Numbers of people receiving self direct support
      Carers receiving a service or advice and information

and those to be developed in line with the proposals set out in ‘Transparency in Outcomes’.

Consultation with deaf and hard of hearing people was undertaken as part of the review of the
service undertaken in 2010. While most people rated the service they received as very good or
good a number suggested improvements relating to:

      Advice and information
      The provision of equipment
      Location (specifically around more locality based services)
      Individual support.

3. Who is responsible for delivering the service? Are any other organisations involved? If other
   organisations are involved are they fully compliant with the Council’s Equality Policy?

The Leicestershire County Council Adults and Communities Department are responsible for
delivering the service to all residents of Leicestershire. The team will be located in Personal
Care and Support, with the only change in this respect related to the line management
arrangements for the team.

There are several voluntary organisations which also provide services, advice and information to
deaf and hard of hearing people in Leicestershire. The only one of these which Leicestershire
County Council directly commission from is Action Deafness, which has its own Equality Policy.
Services to people with a dual sensory impairment are provided by Vista which also has its own
Equality Policy.

4. Consider the answers given in questions 1, 2 and 3 and assess whether your service
   results, or could result in adverse impact on or discrimination against different groups of
   people. If you consider that there is adverse impact or discrimination, or the potential for
   either, please outline below and state whether is it justifiable or legitimate and give your
   reasons for this. (See examples in Section 6)

The intention is that the reconfigured service will continue to support the existing service user
group and hence there is no expectation of any adverse impact. The services currently
provided already demonstrate an explicit commitment to equal opportunities ensuring service
users are not discriminated against because of their race, gender, age, sexual orientation,
religion/belief or disability.

Whilst it is not envisaged that the reduction in the establishment of the team (see Section 1) will
have an impact on service users, consultation with the current staff group has highlighted
concerns that the re-routing of referrals via the Customer Service Centre and the re-location of
the team initially to Romulus Court,and ultimately to County Hall may impact on peoples’ ability
to access the service. This concern relates particularly to deaf people whose primary means of
communication is by British Sign Language (BSL) and who are therefore unable to
communicate via telephone.

It should be noted that many hard of hearing people will be able to utilise telephone
communication through existing technology such as minicoms, but BSL users require face-to-
face contact. For people who have current casework input the impact of this is mitigated by the
fact that team members will visit people in their own homes and communities or communicate
via text, but in cases which are not currently active or in emergency situations the lack of a
readily physically accessible duty point may have an adverse impact on a small number of

The relocation of the team is driven by the requirement to vacate their current base and
relocation to Romulus Court and then County Hall has been determined by the availability of
other accommodation, in line with the Office Accommodation Strategy. It is also the case that
Leicestershire County Council policy has determined the requirement for all initial contacts with
the Department to take place through the Customer Service Centre rather than locality offices.

 However, the current location within the City of Leicester means that City residents benefit
more from the facility for office calls than County residents.Analysis of the number office callers
who are resident in the County and whose first language is BSL average three per week.
Analysis of service provision by locality for County residents suggests a pattern consistent with
other service user groups, indicating that service take up for hearing impaired people is not
significantly affected by their address, and that relocation from a City Centre base to Romulus
Court or ultimately County Hall is unlikely to impact greatly on this (see Appendix 1).

5. (a) If you have identified adverse impact or discrimination that is illegal you are required to
       take action to remedy this immediately.

  (b) If you have identified adverse impact or discrimination that is justifiable or legitimate,
      you will need to consider what actions can be taken to mitigate its effect on those
      groups of people. This arises out of the duty to promote good relations between
      people of different groups and is in keeping with the Council’s approach to social
      cohesion. (An example of this could be Positive Action measures which target specific
      members of staff).

Whilst the reconfiguration of the service has taken into account the need to retain the specialist
skills necessary to meet the communication needs of deaf people and disaggregation of the
service and assimilation into the new Care Pathway Service will mean both a greater focus on
the needs of Leicestershire residents with a hearing impairment, plus the benefits of the
Personalisation Programme if there is a risk that access to the service could be more difficult for
a small number of people. A number of mitigating actions are therefore set out in the equality
improvement plan.

 Ensure that these actions are listed in the attached equality improvement plan. If you do
 not have the authority to take the action required, you will need to alert the relevant service
 manager of your findings.

                     Identifying and Removing Barriers to Equal Access

6. (a) Identify the ways people can find out about and use the services you provide.
       Consider any processes they need to go through or criteria that we apply to determine
       eligibility for receiving the service. List your answers in box (a) below.

   (b) Review those processes and criteria and consider whether any of them are essential
       (i.e. are they a legal requirement?) and mark accordingly in box (b). You are aiming
       to maintain only those processes or criteria that are critical to delivering the service.

   (c) Review those processes and criterion that you have decided are critical against the
       access needs that various equality groups of people have. Are there any groups of
       people who would not be able to find out about or use the service? What are the
       barriers that are preventing them? List your answers in box (c)

   Consider issues such as:
       How can people who are deaf/disabled or visually impaired find out about your
       What about people whose first language is not English. Is information readily
         available in a variety of formats e.g. other languages, large print, audio tape, easy
         read for people with learning difficulties?
       If people need to come to council offices, are these fully accessible?
       How easy is it for a person to make their communication needs understood?
       Is there good and accessible transport links to the offices?
       Is there parking for disabled people?
       How do you ensure that an individual’s preferred method of communication is
         known about and adhered to?
       Is there a quiet area for interviewing people who are deaf/disabled? Is sufficient
         time allocated?
       Are the needs of young children accompanying a service user accommodated?
       Can an officer attend a user’s home if, for example, a person finds it difficult or
         impossible to come to the offices?
       Have staff received sufficient and appropriate customer care and equalities
          awareness training to be able to deal confidently with a variety of potential access

                                             (b)            (c)
List Process and Criteria
                                             Essential?     Barriers identified and groups
                                             Yes/No         affected

                                             Yes            Although County Hall is fully
                                                            accessible by all groups, it does not
                                                            provide a duty point for face-to-face

                                                            Transport links to County Hall may
                                                            be a barrier to some users
                                                            accessing the service, although this
                                                            would potentially be a greater
                                                            problem for some people if the
                                                            service were to be located

                                                            On an interim basis,Romulus Court
                                                            could provide full access for all
                                                            groups with very limited
                                                            modifications.Immediate access to
                                                            the team at Romulus Court would
                                                            be available (cf. access via
                                                            reception at County Hall).

                                                            Transport links to Romulus Court
                                                            are equivalent in impact to County

                                                            The Customer Service Centre has
Customer Service
                                             Yes            no facility for face-to-face contact.

                                                            Staff skills may present barriers to
                                                            people with a hearing impairment
                                                            through lack of awareness of
                                                            needs, and appropriate
                                                            communication skills.

6. (d)Based on your answers for (a),(b) and (c) consider what barriers you can remove, what
      reasonable adjustment may be necessary to ensure the service is accessible (this
      could include providing the service elsewhere). Consider what actions you will need to
      take to address any unmet needs that you have identified. For disabled people, as
      defined under the Disability Discrimination Act, this could mean treating them more
      favourably to ensure that there is equality of outcome.
    When you are deciding priorities for action you will need to consider whether the barriers
    result in an adverse impact or discrimination that is illegal. These will constitute your top
    priority. The other priorities will be dependent on such issues as whether a group is
    particularly excluded or connected to the core business of the service, whether there are
    adjustments that would mean several groups benefit.


Email and letter contact can be made at all times. Text contact, which is often the favoured
method of communication for people with a hearing impairment can be made at all times.
The possibility of developing a referral process via Text talk/web cam/skype will be explored
with the library service.

A home visit service will be available for people unable to visit Romulus Court/County Hall.

Outreach/appointment facilities will be established in locality offices around the County.

Customer Service

Deaf Awareness training will be made available to Customer Service Centre and County Hall
reception staff.Team members will be able to meet any visitors to Romulus Court during the
interim period.

A discrete text number at the Customer Service Centre can be made available.

The current team support worker will be attached to Tier 2 of the Customer Service Centre to
provide specialist input regarding the needs of people with a hearing impairment.

Ensure that the actions you identify are put into the attached equality improvement
plan. If you do not have the authority to take the action required, you will need to alert the
relevant service manager of your findings.

                         Ensuring Continuous Equality Improvement

7. The council is committed to mainstreaming equality, ensuring that it is integrated into our
   performance management frameworks and subject to continuous improvement through
   performance monitoring. Essentially, if you are not monitoring, you do not know what
   impact your service is having or whether you are meeting people’s needs. The table
   below shows examples of several types and sources of performance information that we
   collect as a council, some is collected corporately and some will be collected within
   individual services. Review what data you have and consider the following questions:

   (a) What does analysis of the data tell you about how well your service is meeting the
      needs of the various equality groups? Are there any unmet needs or concerns that
      need to be addressed? How up to date is the information?

   (b) Which groups of people are you hearing from? Are there groups of people that you
       are not hearing from? What can you do to ensure that people are able to provide
       feedback on the service? Is there information on service user needs held by other
       services that would be appropriate for your services? Note your answers to these
       questions in the 3rd and 4th column below.

                                               Analysis of the data
Data Type              Source(s)               and/or gaps in           When last gathered
Compliments,           Complaints System       No complaints
complaints and                                 recorded.
                       Correspondence          Requirement for more     Ongoing
                       Members’ Enquiries      robust system of
                                               analysing information.

Service Take up        SSIS database

                                               No information
                                               available regarding
                                               sexual orientation.
                                               Take up of services
                                               for people of Asian      Ongoing
                                               origin lower than
                                               might be expected
                                               (see Appendix 1)

Demographic Data       Census, population,     There is a significant
                       deprivation and other   difference between
                       social statistics.      the numbers of
                       Joint Strategic Needs   people estimated to
                       Assessment.             have a hearing loss in
                                               Leicestershire (most
                                               of whom are aged
                                               over 60) and those on
                                               the deaf or hard of
                                                 for review of the
                                                 operation of the
                                                 Analysis of the data
Data Type               Source(s)                and/or gaps in           When last gathered
Benchmarking            With other               Proposed service
                        Counties/other           model is not unusual.    2005

Workforce Profile       Organisational           Currently three
                        Development/             members of the team
                        Personnel                have a hearing

Team discussions        Locally held             Feedback and
around service                                   anecdotal evidence
provision                                        from existing staff
                                                 group, requiring more
                                                 robust system for
                                                 capturing data.
Results of any local    Service Users            Generally satisfaction   July
consultation and/or     consulted via review     with current service     2010
satisfaction surveys    process                  with a range of
                                                 suggestions for


8. Social cohesion is a priority for Councils. Progress made towards building more cohesive,
   empowered and active communities is now being measured through national
   Performance Indicators. Essentially social cohesion is about promoting a sense of
   connection, trust and belonging both within and across communities and groups. Review
   all the actions and targets that you have identified as a result of this equality impact
   assessment to what social cohesion issues could arise, for example: these should

     (a) Are there ways in which your service could bring different groups of people together,
         for example to develop future provision?
     (b) Are there ways in which existing groups could interact with the service, for example,
         as part of ongoing monitoring of service provision?
     (c) Could the way you provide the service bring different groups of people together to
         use the service?
     (d) Does the way in which your service is provided have the potential to lead to
         resentment between different groups of people? How can you compensate for
         perceptions of preferential or differential treatment?
     (e) If the improvement plan identifies addressing a gap in the service for a particular
         group of people, has this also addressed the potential for perceptions of preferential
         treatment for the group? (For example, if you give priority treatment to disabled
         people, how will you manage the negative attitudes that non-disabled people may
         develop as a result.)
     (f) How can your service explicitly demonstrate the council’s commitment to promote
         equality across race, gender, disability, age, religion/belief and the LGBT

List your answers below. Ensure that the actions you identify are put into the attached
equality improvement plan.

It is not envisaged that the proposed service will lead to a reduction in social cohesion. It will
ensure that people will be empowered and enabled to fully access their rights and freedoms as
a member of society. The personalisation of service provision will ensure that people with a
hearing impairment have access to advice, information and services that will give them greater
choice and control and afford better access to community facilities.

The continued focus on the specialist nature of this service will help to facilitate links with, and
support to the deaf community.

Please list all the equality objectives, actions and targets that result from the Equality Impact Assessment (continue on separate sheets
as necessary). These now need to be included in the relevant service plan for mainstreaming and performance management purposes.

      Equality Objective                       Action                              Target                                        By when
To ensure that the proposed       Implementation of Self Directed     All new and existing service       Locality Manager   2012
service enables service users     Support Pathway.                    users, where eligible, receive a
with a hearing impairment to                                          personal budget.
receive personalised services.
All deaf and hard of hearing      Provision of appropriate training   Facilitate access by all hearing   Service Manager    June 2011
residents of the County will      and support to Customer             impaired residents of              / CSC
have access to appropriate        Service Centre/County Hall and      Leicestershire.
advice, information and where     locality office reception staff.
eligible service provision that
meets their needs.                Development of outreach                                                Service Manager    April 2011
                                  service in localities.

                                  Development of new                                                     Service            April 2011
                                  technologies to facilitate                                             Manager/CSC        onwards – review
                                  access.                                                                                   Sep 2011
To ensure that all groups have    Develop outreach service to         Improved take up of service.       Locality Manager   Sept 2011
access to the service.            Asian people with a hearing

                                  Continue to monitor take up of      Improved take up of service.       Locality Manager   April 2011
                                  service.                                                                                  onwards – review
                                                                                                                            Sep 2011
                                  Further consultation on             Establish views of users, carers   Service Manager    April 2011
                                  proposed service model.             and other organisations                               onwards- review
                                                                      regarding effectiveness of                            Sep 2011
                                                                      service provision/development.
1st Authorised signature (EIA Lead) ……………..……………………… Date: ………………………………………………………..

2nd Authorised signature (Member of DMT) …………………………………………. Date: …………………………………………

Once completed and authorised, please send a copy of this form to the Equality and Diversity Team in the Chief
Executives Department.

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