Health Equity Audit: policy relating to HEA
The 2005-2008 NHS Planning Guidance states that “PCTs and their partner organisations should demonstrate that they have taken account of different needs and inequalities within the local population, in respect of area, socio-economic group, ethnicity, gender, disability, age, faith, and sexual orientation, on the basis of a systematic programme of health equity audit and equality impact assessment. This should address issues of race equality.
"Assessment of the effective use of health equity audit in service planning, commissioning and delivery” was a Healthcare Commission performance indicator for PCTs in 2004/05. While there is no comparable performance indicator in the Healthcare Commission’s Annual Health Check of PCTs in 2005/06 or 2006/07, the Commission does retain a focus on the national Standards for Better Health including:
The Core Public Health Standard C22
Healthcare organisations promote, protect and demonstrably improve the health of the community served, and narrow health inequalities ...
The Developmental Public Health Standard D13
Healthcare organisations a) identify and act upon significant public health problems and health inequality issues, with primary care trusts taking the leading role; b) implement effective programmes to improve health and reduce health inequalities.
HEA is arguably a necessary tool to inform work to achieve these standards.