London Borough of Hammersmith _ Fulham

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					  Initial Screening Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA)
  Every current and future Policy & Function must be screened for adverse impact
  See accompanying notes before carrying out the EQIA screening and completing this form
  Return the completed form to your lead Corporate Equalities Co-ordination Group Officer

Department (+ Director & A.D)                Officer leading EQIA team:            Officer leading Service, Policy or Function:
Names: James Reilly                          Name: John Cordani & Jean             Name: John Cordani & Jean Cheeseman
                                             Cheeseman


Policy, Service or Function:                 Title: Customer Services Manager      Title: Customer Services Manager &
Take up strategy                             & Performance and Quality             Performance and Quality Manager
                                             Manager

Screening Start date: 14/02/05               Telephone: 1318 & 1320                Telephone: 1318 & 1320

Screening Completion date: 22/08/05          Email: @lbhf.gov.uk                   Email: @lbhf.gov.uk

Provide details of any part of the           Other business units within the authority do play a role in promoting the take up
policy, service or function which is         of benefit. Better Government for Older People in SSD and Special Needs Unit in
provided by another department,              HSD.
agency or contractor & consequential
EQIA arrangements:
Prior to the EQIA, under the test of         High                         Medium                     Low
relevance, was the policy, service or
function assessed as:                        Date: April 2004             Date:                      Date:
During the EQIA screening exercise           General actions (specify)    Improved monitoring        Additional consultation
did you identify remedial action as an       Improved availability of     Consider radical           Targeted surveying of
alternative to carrying out a ‘full’ EQIA:   information leaflets.        approach to collating      clients in 2005/06 with
                                                                          information                specific questions
Following the EQIA, if there is a need       High                         Medium                     Low
for a full assessment, was it identified
as:




                                                                   1
If this initial screening indicates a   Date set for full EQIA: 2006/07           Name of officer responsible for full EQIA
need to carry out a full assessment,                                              John Cordani & Jean Cheeseman
please provide details of how, when
and by whom it will be carried out:     How has this commitment been incorporated into performance planning?
                                        Take Up and Publicity strategy is a rolling programme with no end date and is
                                        inheritantly within each year’s business plan. Carrying out satisfaction surveys
                                        and working with stakeholders will ensure that this is continued in future years.




                                                              2
SCREENING EXERCISE
1 Provide a brief description of the   To improve the welfare and quality of life of our residents
policy, service or function and its
key objectives & outcomes:             With approximately 20,000 claimants, Hammersmith & Fulham Benefits
                                       Service provides income for over a third of the borough’s households. By
                                       encouraging take-up and through efficient administration, the Benefits
                                       Service can improve the financial position of our residents, reducing
                                       unnecessary stress and worry for vulnerable members of the community.
                                       Maximising their income will also increase their access to the same
                                       opportunities and lifestyle choices as all other members of the
                                       community.

                                       Take up will need to look in particularly at specific groups that may
                                       currently experience difficulties in claiming benefits such as; pensioners,
                                       people with disabilities, residents who are housebound and residents who
                                       do not have English as a first language.


2 Describe any associated              •   Anti poverty strategy
objectives:                            •   Reducing / eliminating child poverty
   • Community Strategy                •   Fairer Chance
   • Departmental priorities           •   Convenient Service
   etc                                 •   Improving access

3 To what extent is it intended to     The aim of the strategy is to increase the number of residents claiming
   • eliminate discrimination          welfare benefits that they are entitled to but presently do not claim.
   • ensure equality of opportunity
   • promote good relations
   etc




                                                         3
4 Who are the main client groups,      The strategy was developed with key stakeholders (HAFAD, BGOP, RSL
how do you consult them on             representative and Advice Agencies) who identified that benefit was
strategy and performance and what      currently claimed by those experiencing difficulties with payment for their
evidence do you have on take-up        rent and or council tax. Once a draft had been completed this was sent to
and satisfaction:                      all invitees of the Benefits Liaison Group (BLG) for their views. This group
                                       is made up of RSLs, Advice Agencies, Community Groups and other
                                       support organisations. The final draft was then circulated in April 2004.

                                       The key areas where it was felt that targeted work could be carried out
                                       was ; pensioners, people with disabilities, residents who are housebound
                                       and residents who do not have English as a first language.

                                       Work has continued through 2004/05 at BLG meetings regarding the
                                       strategy and asking them to consider whether they would be able to
                                       contribute to its success.

                                       Carrying out surveys of these groups in 2004/05 and in following years
                                       should provide a measure of how successful this process has been.

5 Do any specific elements create a    •   Residents on low incomes, claiming benefits but work full time.
higher risk of differential take-up,       Opening hours of service may not provide adequate access to these
outcomes or satisfaction levels for        users of service.
users?                                 •   Residents who not have English as a first language may experience
   • eligibility criteria, fees or         difficulties in claiming and dealing with benefit matters.
       charges
   • opening times, physical access    Need to look at measuring satisfaction levels in these areas through a
   • interpreting & translation        targeted programme of satisfaction surveys in 2005/06.
    etc




                                                        4
6 Is there any evidence of              Core equalities target groups
differential take-up, outcomes or       Statistically it is shown that older people do not always claim the benefits
satisfaction levels for any of the      they are entitled to.
equalities target groups & if so
what:                                   The Pension Service are proposing to send details of those receiving
                                        Pension Credits for Benefit Service to target these that are not claiming
(remember to cover Age, Disability,     housing and or council tax benefits.
Gender & Race and, if possible
consider Sexual Orientation, Faith &    Need to increase targeted work in the welfare Benefits area. Opportunities
any other relevant dimension)           being targeted are; pensioners, people with disabilities, residents who are
                                        housebound and residents who do not have English as a first language.



                                        Other equalities target groups



6a Does any of this constitute an       Core equalities target groups
adverse impact for any of the
equalities target groups & if so how:   None


(remember to cover Age, Disability,     Other equalities target groups
Gender & Race and, if possible
consider Sexual Orientation, Faith &
any other relevant dimension)




                                                         5
REMEDIAL ACTION
7 Are you able to put in place any     Core equalities target groups
remedial actions which would           • Staff training on identifying possible entitlement to other benefits.
overcome these adverse outcomes,       • Quality checks by managers on processing work.
and if so what, how & when:            • Improving information on leaflets with strap lines.
   • staff training                    • Improving information on application forms with strap lines.
   • information & publicity           • Applying to Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) for funding of a
   • language support                    dedicated Welfare Benefits post.
   • service changes                   • Implementing Verification Framework (VF) and involving visiting
   • monitoring take-up, outcomes or     officers in welfare role.
       satisfaction levels             • Working closer with Private Housing Services to see if there is an
   etc                                   opportunity to target newly occupied HMOs by private tenants.
(remember to cover Age, Disability,    • Meeting with key RSLs and Community groups to evaluate service
Gender & Race and, if possible           being provided and whether more can be done.
consider Sexual Orientation, Faith &
any other relevant dimension)

                                       Other equalities target groups


7A If you are taking any actions       Action         Milestone         Outcome    Date           Lead Officer
under 7 above, set out the action
plan and timetable:
                                       Please see
(remember to cover Age, Disability,    attached
Gender & Race and, if possible         action plan
consider Sexual Orientation, Faith &
any other relevant dimension)


ACTION PLAN
8 Do you need to consult further        Core equalities target groups
with staff, service users or equalities Yes. BLG April 2005
experts in order to assess adverse
impact?

(remember to cover Age, Disability,

                                                         6
Gender & Race and, if possible          Other equalities target groups
consider Sexual Orientation, Faith &
any other relevant dimension)


8A If you are taking any actions        Action          Milestone        Outcome        Date            Lead Officer
under 8 above, set out the action
plan and timetable:
                                        Any action
(remember to cover Age, Disability,     plan to be
Gender & Race and, if possible          developed
consider Sexual Orientation, Faith &    following
any other relevant dimension)           meeting in
                                        April 2005.




RESULT
9 Bearing in mind any actions take       Yes                                    No
under 7&8 above, is it necessary to      Consider for 2006 / 2007
refer this Policy or Function for a full
EQIA?

(remember to cover Age, Disability,
Gender & Race and, if possible
consider Sexual Orientation, Faith &
any other relevant dimension)


Please return the completed form to:

(1)   Your Department’s lead Corporate Equalities Co-ordination Group representative (who will return it to PAD:P&E
      Principal Equalities Officer)
(2)   Your Department’s Director, Assistant Director & lead service planning officer



                                                          7
  Please see Part 2 – if you need to carry out a full EQIA


  END
  Policy & Equalities
  For the Corporate Equalities Co-ordination Group
  2004/05
  Actions to be taken towards Take-up

Action                                                                                                      Timescale        Target Group      Resource




Launch strategy inviting as many community and other groups as possible                                     March 2004       All Claimant      BMT

                                                                                                                             types

Information provided to council tenants on HB & CTB when they commence their tenancies                      January 2004     Council           PSB

                                                                                                                             tenants

Identifying claimants from current caseload and from new claims who may have specific needs i.e. visual     April 2005       Special Needs     BST

impairment or language difficulties and ensuring that all communications are made to them

‘Intention to claim’ form to be used by West London Pension Service when encountering potential HB/CTB      October 2003     Pensioners        WLPS

claimants on home visits using HCTB1.

Improve Webpage on Website on Housing and Council Tax Benefits – more user friendly with more               October 2004     Every client      BST

factsheets/information                                                                                      and ongoing      group

Liaise with ‘CITAS’ to establish costs of translating info for website into 5 of the most commonly spoken   April 2005 and   Ethnic minority   CSM

language.                                                                                                   ongoing          claimants

Work with the local DWP/Job Centre Plus office to encourage benefit take-up                                 January 2004     Claimant’s        PQM


                                                                            8
                                                                                                             and ongoing   returning to

                                                                                                                           work

Develop closer working relationships with the voluntary and advice organisations                             November      Every client   PQM

                                                                                                             2003 and      group

                                                                                                             ongoing

Report to BMT on proposed outreach work to undertake home visits, surgeries and advice sessions for Older    Post April    All Claimant   BMT and

people                                                                                                       2004 and      types          relevant

                                                                                                             ongoing                      advice and

                                                                                                                                          support

                                                                                                                                          group

Report to BMT on proposed outreach work to undertake home visits, surgeries and advice sessions for People   Post April    All Claimant   BMT and

with disabilities                                                                                            2005 and      types          relevant

                                                                                                             ongoing                      advice and

                                                                                                                                          support

                                                                                                                                          group

Report to BMT on proposed outreach work to undertake home visits, surgeries and advice sessions for          Post August   All Claimant   BMT and

Individuals where 1st language is not English                                                                2004 and      types          relevant

                                                                                                             ongoing                      advice and

                                                                                                                                          support

                                                                                                                                          group




                                                                          9
   Actions to be taken towards Take-up

Action                                                                                                             Timescale        Target Group   Resource




Conduct an audit of 2nd languages spoken by Benefit Service Staff to ensure up to date information is available.   December         Ethnic         CSM

Corporate Interpreting list already available.                                                                     2003             minority

                                                                                                                                    claimants

Contact groups and organisations to establish their needs in terms of obtaining info on HB & CTB                   November         Every client   CSM

                                                                                                                   2003 and         group

                                                                                                                   ongoing

Investigate feasibility of agreement with pensioners through initial claim that we can write direct to former      October 2005     Pensioners     PQM

employers for details of changes to occupational pension.

Investigate feasibility of agreement with pensioners through initial claim that we can write direct to their       October 2005     Pensioners     PQM

banks/building societies for details of current balance on annual basis.

Investigate feasibility and costs of providing key leaflets in a range of community languages                      April 2005 and   All Claimant   CSM / BSM

                                                                                                                   ongoing          types

Investigate feasibility of using Community Service Volunteer                                                       March 2004       All Claimant   CSM

                                                                                                                                    types




                                                                              10
  Liaison & Partnership work towards Take-up

Action                                                                                                       Timescale        Target Group   Resource




Set up forum/working group involving West London Pension Service, Age Concern / BGOP, the Social             June 2004        Pensioners     CSM

Regeneration Unit to cross work on new Pension Credit

Participate in ‘Tenant Involvement Week’ outreach sessions – offering information and advice to residents    April 2004       All Claimant   PSB

                                                                                                                              types

Draft of leaflet covering housing and council tax benefits                                                   October 2003     All claimant   BSM

                                                                                                                              types

Looking into ways to encourage those returning to work to claim HB & CTB                                     November         All claimant   PQM /

                                                                                                             2003             types
Fact sheet to accompany new claim form on cessation of IS/JSA                                                                                Tara Waller

                                                                                                                                             /
Developing artwork for poster aimed at returners

                                                                                                                                             Mark
Extended Payment Leaflet
                                                                                                                                             Billington

Investigate feasibility of staff from Benefits Service, SBAC, CAB and NHHT providing information             April 2004 and   All claimant   BMT /

sessions/presentations to external stakeholders such as refugee forum on HB/CTB and other welfare benefits   ongoing          types          NHHT /

                                                                                                                                             SBAC /

                                                                                                                                             FCAB /

                                                                                                                                             HAFAD /



                                                                          11
                                                                                                                                                       BGOP /

                                                                                                                                                       and others

Investigate feasibility of staff participating in multi-agency benefit days, on stalls to offer advice and assistance   June 2004 and   All claimant   BMT

in all aspects of the Housing and Council Tax Benefit Schemes                                                           ongoing         types

Run pilot of Benefit Officer in local RSL so as to deal with sign ups and problems more speedily                        December        RSL tenants    Head of

                                                                                                                        2003                           Service /

                                                                                                                                                       PQM /

                                                                                                                                                       Martin

                                                                                                                                                       Anderson

To consider implications of results from Housing Needs survey                                                           June 2004       All claimant   BMT

                                                                                                                                        types

Investigate feasibility of closer working relationship with Special Needs Unit                                          May 2004        All claimant   PQM

                                                                                                                                        types

Investigate feasibility of developing partnerships with health sector                                                   April 2006      All claimant   PQM

                                                                                                                                        types

Investigate feasibility of developing partnerships with other departments across the local authority. Primarily         November        All claimant   PQM /

Social Services, Council Tax and Education                                                                              2003 and        types          CSM

                                                                                                                        ongoing




                                                                               12
  Liaison & Partnership work towards Take-up

Action                                                                                                             Timescale       Target Group   Resource




Investigate feasibility of providing leaflets in Large print, alternative languages, Braille and audio on demand   November        All claimant   CSM /

                                                                                                                   2003 and        types
                                                                                                                                                  BSM
                                                                                                                   ongoing

Investigate feasibility of distributing leaflets to local voluntary groups, sheltered housing schemes, GP          November        All claimant   CSM

surgeries, adult education venues and hospitals                                                                    2003 and        types

                                                                                                                   ongoing

In liaison with the BGOP Reading Group to develop flyer for targeted groups such as older people (via day          Tony to         All claimant   BSM

centres, sheltered housing schemes, etc.), single parents through playgroups and the education service and         confirm         types

other specific groups.

To develop liaison arrangements with BGOP, NDC to further alternative further outreach options                     June 2004 and   All claimant   PGM /

                                                                                                                   ongoing         types
                                                                                                                                                  Tara Waller

                                                                                                                                                  /

                                                                                                                                                  Mark

                                                                                                                                                  Billington

Investigate other forms of technology such as “Quick Benefits” or Quick Calc” to help with surgeries               April 2005      All claimant   BSM

                                                                                                                                   types
                                                                                                                   Tony to

                                                                                                                   confirm


                                                                             13
Abbreviations used:

   BMT                Benefits Management Team          NHHT         Notting Hill Housing Trust
   PSB                Public Sector Benefits            SBAC         Shepherds Bush Advice Centre
   BST                Benefits Support Team             FCAB         Fulham Citizens Advice Bureau
   WLPS               West London Pension Service       HAFAD        Hammersmith & Fulham Action Against Disability
   CSM                Customer Services Manager         BGOP         Better Government for Older People
   PQM                Performance and Quality Manager
   BSM                Benefits Support Manager




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