Ethnic Equality Monitoring

What is Ethnicity?

Ethnicity is a measure of a close cultural connection, as opposed to ‘race’, nationality or citizenship. It involves sharing certain background characteristics, such as a shared history, common ancestors, geographical origin, language, culture and religion. This provides people from an ethnic group with a distinct identity as seen by both themselves and others.

How does Ethnicity impact on health?

An important issue that influences health is whether a person belongs to a majority or minority ethnic group.

People from minority ethnic groups can often experience poorer health than the rest of the population. Low incomes, poor working and housing conditions, poor social networks and nutrition as well as lack of access to health services can impact on the health of those from minority ethnic groups who have immigrated to a new country. This also affects the health of their children and future generations.

What is Ethnic Equality Monitoring?

Ethnic Equality Monitoring is the process of collecting, recording and analysing information (data) that we collect from patients or service users. Ethnic Equality monitoring or EEM helps to identify and measure if our health system is serving everyone equally and make sure that our services meet the needs of a diverse population including Ethnic Minorities.

Benefits of Ethnic Equality Monitoring

Ethnic Equality Monitoring will show the uptake of health services among different ethnic groups. This could help to identify whether discrimination, either direct or indirect, is occurring in the way that services are provided.

Ethnic Equality Monitoring will help to:
  • Design and resource services that are targeted at under-represented groups and ensures that these services are appropriate for their needs
  • Indicates the need for language and interpreting services
  • Provide a measurement of whether changes that have been made to a service improves access and better health outcomes for under-represented groups.
  • Supports more accurate diagnoses

Collecting information about ethnic group and analysing it alongside clinical data can provide evidence of how the rates and progression of many conditions can vary in different groups depending on their ethnicity. The effectiveness of treatments provided can also depend on ethnicity. This information can be used by health services to target groups most at risk of particular conditions.

Legal requirements

Ethnic Equality Monitoring can help to determine whether health services are meeting the legal requirements to provide fair and equal service to all ethnic groups under Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty

The collection of Ethnic Equality Monitoring is included as actions in the following strategies:

 The National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021

 The Second National Intercultural Health Strategy 2018-2023

 The Migrant Integration Strategy 2017-2020