Health Inequalities Impact Assessment

Health Inequalities Impact AssessmentHealth Inequalities Impact Assessment (HIIA) is an integrated approach to impact assessment, which considers nine legally protected characteristics, wider population groups, the social determinants of health and human rights.

This approach offers an opportunity during any planning process to assess the potential of the policy to reduce or exacerbate health inequalities. It was piloted in 2010 with NHS Boards and the Scottish Government following a recommendation in Link opens in a new windowEqually Well, the 2008 report of the Ministerial Task Force on Health Inequalities. We have produced guidance on how to carry out a health inequalities impact assessment when proposing changes to services.

We have supported NHS Health Scotland to identify two projects to pilot the integration of HIIA with processes for service change:

  • An impact assessment for the Scottish Breast Screening Service review helped to inform the models for future delivery of the service, further work on transgender screening, the consideration of flexible opening times to benefit specific population groups and improving physical access to the new mobile units.
  • The impact assessment on the development of the Primary Care Resource Centre at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline identified improvements that could be made to car parking and public transport for different population groups accessing the clinics, proposed new clinic opening times based on feedback from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) groups, and identified the opportunity the new site would give to health improvement and promotion.

The two case studies, further tools and information can be found on the Link opens in a new windowNHS Health Scotland website.

We are keen to identify new areas within NHS Boards that may be interested in working with us and with NHS Health Scotland to use this approach on new policies which aim to reduce health inequalities. Please contact EmailEmma Ashman (Service Change Advisor, Scottish Health Council) or EmailDebbie Sigerson (NHS Health Scotland's equality team), for an informal discussion about this opportunity for support.