Improving workforce disability equality in the NHS


2019 will be a key year for workforce disability within the NHS, with the introduction of the Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES), the expansion of the Disability Confident across the health and social care sector, and support via the Learning Disability Employment Programme.

Paul Deemer, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at NHS Employers said: "There will be a strong focus on not only improving the experiences of NHS staff with disabilities, but also tapping into the huge talent pool of disabled people who are willing and capable of working in the NHS.  

"The WDES will require NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts to measure the extent to which the experiences of disabled and non-disabled staff differ. Trusts will be expected to publish their results and also develop and publish local action plans to address the differences highlighted by the Metrics data and improve workforce disability equality."

NHS Employers has been working with NHS England to develop a suite of resources to support organisations with the implementation of the new WDES standard, the resources are currently being finalised and will be published soon.

Disability Summit 2019 – save the date

We will be holding our 4th Disability Summit on 30 April 2019 in London. The event will showcase good practice in the field of employing people with disabilities and provide attendees with ideas, solutions and assistance to help them meet the challenge of increasing the numbers of staff who have a disability into the workplace – in line with the government’s disability employment strategy. We are working on the conference programme and bookings for the event will open later this month.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the Workforce Disability Equality Standard and access a number of tools and resources to help support people with disability in the workplace, including guidance on recruiting people with learning difficulties, how to be an effective disability confident employer and how to support disabled apprentices.

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