Equality and inclusion within DH

The Department of Health, like other public bodies, has a legal duty to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity, and promote good community relations.

The Department puts diversity, equality and rights at the heart of all our business, as employer, policy maker and system leader. Our vision is to fully mainstream diversity, equality and rights into the foundation of DH’s core business to achieve a position where it forms part of everything that we do.

The public sector equality duty requires due regard to be given to equality as an integral part of the policy development process. Departmental officials must analyse all available evidence to establish whether their policies or practices would meet the aims of the public sector equality duty. They have the option of using the template below in carrying out such analyses:

Age equality resource pack

Building on ‘Achieving age equality in health and social care’, the national review of age discrimination in health and social care, a resource pack has been produced to help the local NHS and local authorities prepare for their new responsibilities.

Strategic assurance: Statement on Internal Control within DH and across the system

As part of the drive to improve compliance with equalities legislation and to gain assurance of that compliance, boards of NHS organisations are required to explicitly provide assurance and disclose any non-compliance with equality legislation through their annual Statement on Internal Control.

DH directors general and arms length body accountable officers are required to provide a Statement on Internal Control, twice-yearly, based on their assessment against DH governance, policy and financial standards. These include explicit measures on complying with equality legislation within their directorates/organisations in addition to their responsibilities under the specific public sector equality duties.

Strategic assurance: system alignment

Under the direction of the Equality and Human Rights Assurance Group, a two-year Transformation Programme has been established to develop a long-term cultural shift in the whole health and adult social care system which will see equalities embedded right across the policies, programmes and service delivery.

For further information on this work, please email: equality@dh.gsi.gov.uk

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