24 / 04 / 2009
Strategic Health Authority
The London Ambulance Service is the only London-wide NHS trust. It has over 4,000 staff working across 70 ambulance stations, who serve more than seven million people that live and work in the London area.
The size and diversity of the London Olympics - 10,250 athletes, 4,000 paralympics athletes and around 9 million ticket sales - made it crucial that the trust integrated equality and diversity in its business planning for the games.
As part of its preparations, the trust's EqIA collated baseline evidence on the potential impact of the games. The EqIA helped the trust to fulfill its statutory duties on promoting race, gender and disability equality, by identifying both the positive impacts of the games and potential adverse impacts which, once identified, required action.
The scope of the Olympic programme was so broad, the EqIA incorporated a wide range of legislative requirements including:
- Estates legislation like the Disability Discrimination Act (1995/2005), specifically relating to premises
- Procurement legislation including the Official Journal of European Communities (OJEC) to ensure there is no discrimination applied to potential providers/suppliers
- Health and safety legislation including the Health and Safety Executive Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (2006) and The Event Safety Guide (1999) that outline the statutory requirements for emergency medical services in stadiums
- The legally binding Olympic and Paralympic 2012 bid document that outlines the expectations and responsibilities for partner organisations during the games
- The IOC Medical Technical Manual (2005) outlines the requirements for emergency medical services during the games
The EqIA identified a number of areas that need to be addressed as part of the trust's preparations in the run-up to 2012, including:
- Accessibility to training - ensuring training is accessible to all staff, regardless of shift patterns
- Cultural training - identifying requirements for staff training in cultural differences, gestures, religion, beliefs, considering both spectators and athletes
- Paralympians - determine whether staff need additional skills to support this group
- Disease - identify how the trust prepares for UK type diseases and addresses knowledge gaps for example on non-UK diseases
- Human rights - identify additional training requirements including areas such as political asylum and staff working under personal protection officers
Anna.Kilpin@lond-amb.nhs.uk, project manager, London Ambulance Service