NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS)
The Equality Delivery System (EDS) for the NHS was made available to the NHS on 29 July 2011. The versions of the EDS Main Text, and the accompanying Grades Manual, were updated on 10 November 2011 to take account of changes in the NHS since July, and to reflect emerging implementation themes. The Easy Read document, which summarises the Steps for Implementation, has been updated by MENCAP. The other three documents are unchanged.
The NHS has been sponsored and supported by the Equality and Diversity Council (EDC) to develop the EDS for the NHS. Work on the EDS was initiated by the EDC in early 2010. The EDC is a sub-committee of the NHS Management Board. Sir David Nicholson, the NHS Chief Executive, chairs both groups.
Much work on the EDS takes its inspiration from prior NHS work, including that of NHS North West. Many NHS staff have contributed to the develoment of the EDS, along with patient and community groups and other stakeholders. NHS Midlands and East leads EDS developments on behalf of the NHS.
The EDC was established in 2009 and includes Director Generals of the Department of Health, representatives from each Strategic Health Authority and other interests. The EDC supports NHS staff and organisations to work closely with the communities they serve to deliver services that are personal, fair and diverse; to champion continuous improvement in the quality of patient services; to promote good practice; and support the NHS to implement the Equality Act 2010.
The EDS is one of the first products initiated by the EDC. The purpose of the EDS is to drive up equality performance and embed equality into mainstream NHS business. It has been designed to help NHS organisations, in the current and new NHS structures, to meet:
- the requirements of the public sector Equality Duty
- equality aspects of the NHS Constitution
- equality aspects of the NHS Outcomes Framework
- equality aspects of the CQC's Essential Standards
- equality aspects of the Human Resources Transition Framework.
Please note that use of the EDS does not automatically lead to better equality performance. For this to happen, the EDS must be used well, championed by committed leadership with a workforce that is supported to be confident and competent in dealing with equality.
"The Equality and Diversity Council, which has sponsored the Equality Delivery System, and all those in the NHS who have developed it, are to be congratulated. The EDS will greatly help the NHS meet the requirements of the public sector Equality Duty. This is a good example of how different parts of the public sector can implement the Equality Duty in a way that fits with their own circumstances and their wider public service objectives."
Government Equalities Office, July 2011
The EDS work is being led by Tim Rideout (CEO of NHS Leicester City, currently assigned to work on setting up the NHS Commissioning Board) on behalf of the EDC, and by NHS East Midlands on behalf of the NHS. The specific EDS proposals were developed by a Working Group which includes representatives from Strategic Health Authorities, Primary Care Trusts, NHS Employers and the Care Quality Commission, supported by Department of Health officials. Tim is supported by an EDS Support Team, led by Maqsood Ahmad.
The EDS is made available to the NHS for immediate use. In particular, the EDS can be used to help NHS organisations to meet the both the public sector Equality Duty and the Specific Duties of the public sector Equality Duty (which are expected to be confirmed by Parliament in early September 2011).
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust has held its first Equality Delivery System (EDS) Launch event on Tuesday 24 January 2012 at the Royal Chase Hotel. The event was attended by patients, patient representatives, staff, voluntary organisations, representatives from the local authority, GP Practices, Trade Union representatives and members of the public to review the Trust's equality performance and identify future priorities and actions needed to address gaps.
The Equality Delivery System covers four goals consisting of the following:
1. Better Health outcomes for all
2. Improved Patient Access and Experience
3. Empowered, engaged and included staff
4. Inclusive leadership at all levels
Both internal and external stakeholders worked in groups to score the Trust's performance on the day and they were supported by Trust facilitators who were managers and staff across all specialities to help understand th grades, what evidence was available from the Trust to demonstrate achievements and how the process works to engage everyone involved. Each group discussed the evidence provided and agreed an overall grade for each of the 18 outcomes.