Annual submission 2019
Introduction and background
The purpose of this paper is to provide the first results against the new Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) indicators and propose actions which form part of the Trust’s Equality Objectives and overarching Diversity & Inclusion work plan for 2019-20 and beyond.
The WDES was mandated by the NHS Standard Contract in England from April 2018, with a preparatory year from 2017-2018. It builds on the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) which was introduced in 2015 however focuses on disability.
The WDES seeks to embrace the concept of disability as an asset, as research has found that disabled people have poorer experience of working in the NHS in England than non-disabled colleagues.
This standard works alongside the Equality Delivery System (EDS2) to help review performance, set equality objectives and deliver on the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).
To put the WDES into context, the NHS interim people plan states; ‘to embed the important interventions that improve the experience of our people, we will develop a new offer with our people setting out explicitly the support they can expect from the NHS as a modern employer’.
This will be framed around the broad themes of creating a healthy, inclusive and compassionate culture, enabling great development and fulfilling careers, and ensuring everyone feels they have voice, control and influence.
The interim plan then expands on ‘Creating a healthy, inclusive and compassionate culture’ by setting out ‘action to improve equality will need to run through all elements of the work on this new offer. This will include further action to embed the Workforce Disability Equality Standard…’.