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Equality Frameworks

Equality Delivery System (EDS / EDS2)

The Equality Delivery System (EDS) was commissioned by the national Equality and Diversity Council in 2010 and launched in July 2011.  It is a system that helps NHS organisations improve the services they provide for their local communities and provide better working environments, free of discrimination, for those who work in the NHS, while meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.  The EDS was developed by the NHS, for the NHS, taking inspiration from existing work and good practice.

In November 2012, Shared Intelligence published their report ‘Evaluation of the equality delivery system for the NHS’ which looked at how the EDS has been adopted across NHS organisations.  Based on this evaluation and subsequent engagement with the NHS and key stakeholders, a refreshed EDS – known as EDS2 – was made available in November 2013.

The main purpose of the EDS2 was, and remains, to help local NHS organisations, in discussion with local partners including local populations, review and improve their performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.  By using the EDS2, NHS organisations can also be helped to deliver on the Public Sector Equality Duty.

EDS2 is more streamlined and simpler to use compared with the original EDS.  It is aligned to NHS England’s commitment to an inclusive NHS that is fair and accessible to all.

NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

Implementing the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) is a requirement for NHS commissioners and NHS healthcare providers including independent organisations, through the NHS standard contract.

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council announced on 31 July 2014 that it had agreed action to ensure employees from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.

This is important because studies shows that a motivated, included and valued workforce helps deliver high quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and better patient safety.

In April 2015, after engaging and consulting with key stakeholders including other NHS organisations across England, the WRES was mandated through the NHS standard contract, starting in 2015/16. From 2017, independent healthcare providers are required to publish their WRES data.

The first phase of the WRES focused on supporting the system to understand the nature of the challenge of workforce race equality and for leaders to recognise that it was their responsibility to help make the necessary changes.

The next phase of the WRES will focus on enabling people to work comfortably with race equality. Through communications and engagement, we will work to change the deep rooted cultures of race inequality in the system, learn more about the importance of equity, to build capacity and capability to work with race.

Continuous embedding of accountability to ensure key policies have race equality built into their core, so that eventually workforce race becomes everyday business.

The WRES will continue to work to evidence the outcomes of the work that is done, publishing data intelligence and supporting the system by sharing replicable good practice.

With over one million employees, the NHS is mandated to show progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low numbers of BME board members across the organisation.

Alongside WRES, NHS organisations use the Equality and Diversity Systems (EDS2) to help in discussion with local partners including local populations, review and improve their performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.  By using the EDS2 and the WRES, NHS organisations can also be helped to deliver on the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)

The NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) comes into force on 1 April 2019. The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of ten specific measures (metrics) that will enable NHS organisations to compare the experiences of Disabled and non-disabled staff.  There are 10 WDES metrics, which cover such areas as the Board, recruitment, bullying and harassment, engagement and the voices of Disabled staff.

This information will then be used by the relevant NHS organisation to develop a local action plan, and enable them to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality.

The WDES is mandated through the NHS Standard Contract. It is restricted to NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts for the first two years of implementation.

The WDES is important, because research shows that a motivated, included and valued workforce helps to deliver high quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and improved patient safety.

The implementation of the WDES will enable NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts to better understand the experiences of their disabled staff. It will support positive change for existing employees, and enable a more inclusive environment for disabled people working in the NHS. Like the Workforce Race Equality Standard on which the WDES is in part modelled, it will also allow us to identify good practice and compare performance regionally and by type of trust.

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