Equality Impact Assessment

Overview:

Assessment Name: Mental Health Advocacy contract
Department: Adult Services Date Created: 09/05/2011 16:49:53
Lead Author: Liz McGill Lead ID: sshqmhlx
Additional Authors (if applicable): Edward Walton
Neil Dhruev
Becky O'Selmo
 
 
Aims and Objectives: To provide advocacy for people with mental health problems. Through feedback to services, to improve the quality of those services.
Main Activities: To support mental health service users to:

improve knowledge of their rights and safeguard their rights

resolve problems or complaints with mental health services

resolve problems or complaints with other services

promote their independence for them to safeguard their rights in future.

enable them to access appropriate services.

The information within this assessment is limited as it will form part of a tendering process for the contract.

Who's intended to benefit: Any person in Hampshire with a serious mental health problem in need of the above assistance.

Summary of Report:

Summary of Main Findings: Hampshire County Council in partnership with NHS Hampshire has previously commissioned mental health advocacy services which are reaching the end of the contract term in March 2012.

Advocacy is important in promoting high quality care in other services and ensuring that they are accessible to people who are sometimes at risk of being isolated or marginalised. It is vital therefore that advocacy services themselves can promote their service to all people eligible to use it.

Age:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: This contract is exclusively for people with mental health problems over the age of 18. It will work with people over the age of 65 with an on-going functional mental health problem.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: People under the age of 18 and over 65 with an organic mental health problem are not covered by this contract.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: Other contracts cater for people excluded from this contract.

Disabled People:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: The service is designed primarily to support people with serious mental health problems. Inevitably some individuals will have other disabilities in additional to mental health problems and providers will be expected to make suitable adjustments to enable them to access and benefit from this serivce.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: The service is not designed to work with people who do not have mental health problems, for whom there are other advocacy services.

It is not designed to provide the statutory Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) provided under the Mental Health Act 1983, as amended 2007, nor the Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) provided under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Separate contracting arrangements are in place for these services.

How could the iniative improve equality of access: Providers will be expected to promote their service widely to people using mental health services. Future contract monitoring will enable us to determine how successful providers have been in engaging with groups who have not previously accessed advocacy services.

Faith:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: The recording of individuals with diverse religious views is not always undertaken in the services currently commissioned.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: Providers will need to actively address any obstacles that stand in the way of individuals with different religions or beliefs from benefitting from advocacy services.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: The contract will only be awarded if the provider can successfully demonstrate, amongst other things, that they adhere to the duties outlined in the Equality Act 2010.

Gender:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: The service provider will be expected to deliver a service to any adult with mental health problems regardless of their gender.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: No
How could the iniative improve equality of access: The contract will only be awarded if the provider can successfully demonstrate, amongst other things, that they adhere to the duties outlined in the Equality Act 2010.

Race:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: Nationally people from some BME backgrounds, i.e. Black African or Caribbean, are more likely to be in contact with secondary mental health services and more likely to be hospitalised during their care. In Hampshire, this is not the case. The 2001 census data for Hampshire indicates 2.2% of the population is from a BME group but less are in receiving the greatest interventions.

Recent data from advocacy services shows a range of 6-14% people from BME groups accessing the services.

Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: Services will be available to any adult with serious mental health problems.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: Future advocacy providers will be expected to monitor who is accessing their services and engage with any groups of people who are not. There will be opportunities to work in partnership with Community Development Officers in this regard. There will also be an expectation that issues specifically raised by certain BME groups in connection with mental health or other services are analysed and inform service development or quality monitoring.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: The recording of individuals who are gay, lesbian or bisexual is not always undertaken in the services currently commissioned. There will be an expectation that this information is recorded and providers monitor how effectively they engage with their local community
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: Services will be available to any adult with serious mental health problems.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: The contract will only be awarded if the provider can successfully demonstrate, amongst other things, that they adhere to the duties outlined in the Equality Act 2010.

Socio Economic Factors:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: People with mental health problems are more likely to be unemployed and reliant on means-tested benefits than any other disabled group. Data from current advocacy contracts indicates that the most likely presenting problem of people accessing advocacy services is related to financial matters.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: Services will be available to any adult with serious mental health problems; their service will be free.

The advocacy contract is not intended to replicate services available from organisations such as CAB.

How could the iniative improve equality of access: Providers will be required to promote their service to ensure that those who would benefit most from them are aware of the service.

Rural Isolation:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: It is known that people with mental health problems living in rural areas may be disadvantaged in accessing services.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: Services will be available to any adult with serious mental health problems.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: Providers will be required to demonstrate how they will deliver their service to people who live in rural locations.

Other groups affected:

Are there other groups affected not already mentioned: Carers would be entitled to access advocacy services. Offenders living in the community would be entitled to access advocacy services.

Conclusions of Potential Impact:

Possible Impact: Advocacy services are an important source of information about how other services are working or failing to work with diverse groups of people with mental health problems. It is vital that they are accessible themselves and can make the required adjustments to enable access.
If any groups are disadvantaged is this likely to be unlawful: N/A
Group Affected: None
Evidence: N/A

Further Actions to be taken:

Action: Monitoring of the new contract will specifically review how effective the service is at engaging with the communities they work with. As most of the referrals are self-referrals, providers will need to understand how best to promote their service.
Responsibility: Commissioners and providers
Timescale: From the start of the contract and at specified time periods within the contract.
Expected Outcomes: That advocacy services will be available to anyone with serious mental health problems.

Review Summary:

Review Update: