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Equality and diversity

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The Government's Equality Strategy 'Building a fairer Britain' is underpinned by the two principles of equal treatment and equal opportunity.

By eliminating prejudice and discrimination, the NHS can deliver services that are personal, fair and diverse and a society that is healthier and happier.  For the NHS, this means making it more accountable to the patients it serves and tackling discrimination in the work place.

The Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2011/12 (December 2010) makes it clear that we expect NHS organisations to maintain progress on equality by fulfilling their statutory duties under the Equality Act and to deliver high quality care for patients.

In addition to the Equality Act, patients’ rights to a comprehensive and fair NHS are set out within its founding principles, legislation such as the Health Bill 2009 which includes the NHS Constitution and are now being refreshed and extended following the White Paper report, 'Equity and excellence: liberating the NHS' and the 'Future Forum'. There are also plans for the first time, to enshrine the reduction of inequalities in legislation within the Health and Social Care Bill.

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