A new toolkit has been launched which aims to help NHS organisations work out how fairly they treat patients and employees.

The Equality Delivery System (EDS) framework tool aims to enable NHS organisations to:

* make sensible adjustments in the workplace for staff who need support in caring for younger and older dependents.
* prioritise better access to screening and other health services for disabled men and women;
* provide better primary care experiences for people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds;
* ensure that everyone, no matter what their sexual orientation or religious beliefs are, can talk in confidence to clinicians about their identity;

The EDS was initiated by the NHS Equality and Diversity Council and developed using the input of more than 3,000 patients, carers, and people who work in the NHS and the voluntary sector.

Sir David Nicholson, Chair of the NHS Equality and Diversity Council and NHS Chief Executive, said: “Equality lies at the heart of what we believe about the NHS – its values, processes and behaviours. As we create the new health and care system, we have a major opportunity to reiterate that in the NHS everyone counts.

“Therefore, as we build a service that is personal, fair and diverse to its core, we are putting patients even more firmly at the centre of the service and working harder to remove any barriers that stop nurses and doctors reaching their full potential.”