Keri McWilliams

What are you doing about equality and diversity within the NHS?

Organised by NHS Employers, Equality, Diversity and Human Rights week shines a light on the ongoing work across the NHS to ensure that it continues to meet the diverse needs of the population.

It is also an opportunity to make organisations aware of the commitment needed to ensure equality and diversity throughout the health industry.

As the largest employer in Europe, with over 1.3 million staff, the NHS has a responsibility to remain at the forefront of the inclusion and fairness agenda - for both patients and staff.

We’re particularly passionate about one area within this agenda - literacy.

Did you know that 11% of all NHS staff do not have English as their first language AND 12 million patients in the UK lack the basic digital literacy skills necessary to use online health services with confidence?

These are staggering statistics in the age of our modern healthcare system.

Barriers need to be broken down.

Staff need to be empowered to overcome day-to-day literacy and language challenges to be able to communicate with greater confidence.

The NHS is required to give patients online access to book appointments, request prescriptions and view their medical records.

In order to do so, NHS portals and online patient services needs to be more accessible to those who require the additional support. These include individuals with disabilities and long-term conditions, the older generation and those from socially deprived backgrounds.

If you are taking part in Equality, Diversity and Human Rights week, we would love to hear about the steps you are taking to ensure equality and diversity are a priority in your organisation? Do you need any assitance with the areas outlined above?  Leave a comment in the reply section below.


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