There is a high proportion of people aged over 65 (21.9%) in the Harrogate and Rural District area compared with England (17.3%). In contrast, the proportion of people aged 5-14 (11.1%) is slightly lower than England (11.6%). The age profile shows a lower proportion of the population in age groups 0-49 years and a higher proportion in age groups 50-95+, compared with both England and the Yorkshire & the Humber region. As noted in our August 2017 Equality and Diversity Strategy, the 65+ population is a population characteristic that we address in all our strategic initiatives.
The locality also has a higher percentage of men and women in the 85+ age group than the national average. This leads to the district having a higher than average percentage of the population coping with frailty in various forms which will often limit mobility and/or cognitive skills. In addition, advanced age poses an increased risk of sight and/or hearing impairment that the district must take into account. The challenges of a population where 1 in 5 residents are 60+ are key to take into consideration when developing or transforming services.
The district has lower levels of people with a physical disability (15.5%) than the national average. However, this still equates to 24,470 people in the district. Approximately 36%, or 8,800, are estimated to have limited mobility potentially affecting their ability to access public transportation.
Health inequalities are the unfair differences in health outcomes that are caused by the difference in where people live or their social and economic circumstances. We have a legal duty to ensure that patient access to health services and the outcomes achieved is not affected as a result of inequality of access. We want to ensure there is equality of access and treatment for all the services we commission both as a matter of fairness and as part of our commitment to reduce health inequalities and improve health and wellbeing.
We ensure our staff receive training to understand equality and diversity in commissioning service provision and we consider equality and diversity in all our commissioning and carry out a quality and equality impact assessment for all the services we commission or where a service change is being considered.
We consider the needs of particular communities when making decisions about local health services. We do this because we have a statutory duty to do so, but also because we know that it’s the right thing to do. Whenever we consider a change to an existing NHS service we look at the impact this may have on particular groups in Harrogate locality.
Implementation of the Equality Delivery System (EDS2) assessment will enable the CCG to assess its equality performance and generate information to assess the compliance with the Public Services Equality Duty arising from section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
We are committed to ensuring that all patients are able to access the services they need, when they need them, and for them to be provided in the most suitable way. This means that everyone in Harrogate and Rural District should have equal access to NHS information and services. We want to remove any barriers to this, particularly those that may be due to factors such as age, race, disability, or gender. We know people may access services in different ways and we take steps to help support those who may have difficulties. We are committed to ensuring that health services in Harrogate and District are culturally sensitive, inclusive, accessible, and appropriate for our residents.