WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.

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Friday, 3 August 2007

A nice positive result

Last week I sent this to the DED Manager for Norfolk PCT:

Hello Jonathan.

As chair of the Norfolk Police Authority/Constabulary DED Forum I am also trying tro establish what other public authorities are doing about the Disability Equality Scheme Duties in relation to the private/independent/voluntary bodies commissioned to carry out public body functions.

Our Forum already has copy of the Constabulary policy `Procurement and Disability Equality Duty` which outlines `the way in which disability equality should built into the procurement process through all its stages.`

Can I please ask if Norfolk PCT has a like written policy and if so, could you please let me have a copy.

And got this:

Dear Mike

Good to hear from you again.

This is an interesting question.

From scanning the web it looks like the police are ahead of health on this.

I am unaware of any specific PCT policies along these lines (some PCTs have a section in their schemes) and think our scheme is light in this regard.

I will suggest that we do some more work on this internally now to plug this gap.

I will write to you again when there is more to report.

Thanks and best wishes

And then today, this came:

Dear Mike

This is to report that I have updated the DES to incorporate a section on commissioning/procurement.

This was ratified by our equalities steering group earlier this week and it has been incorporated in our scheme (see pages 8 and 13 in attached for your information). This will be published on the website in the next few days.

I am aware that this is a little hasty, so I am discussing this with the commissioners to make them aware and as part of our longer term plans will be reviewing this more thoroughly as part of our single equalities scheme that we are about to start work on…

Hope this helps to answer your question

Thanks and best wishes

The new bit in their Disability Equality Scheme reads:

Commissioning and Procurement

Commissioning healthcare services is an inherent part of the day-to-day functions of the PCT and as such, ensuring that the commissioning process meets the Pact’s Disability Equality Duty will often go a long way to ensuring the whole organisation meets its duties.

IMPORTANT; When the PCT commissions another organisation to undertake a function on its behalf, then the commissioned body will attract its own responsibility to meet the general duty in relation to carrying out the public function. This will be the case, even if the commissioned body is not otherwise a public authority, but is, for example, a voluntary organisation or private company. Where a commissioned body is not undertaking a function of the public authority, but merely providing a service, the obligation to comply with the duty in relation to the function remains with the public authority that commissions the function.

So I wrote:

Smashing Jonathan - Good Work.

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