Equality and Diversity

Participation will be more meaningful, representative and effective, if NHSScotland involves a diverse range of people from across the country. Link opens in a new windowEvidence shows that the factors that contribute to people experiencing health inequalities in Scotland are varied but they can often be related to one of the Equality Act 2010’s protected characteristics.  The protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.  We are committed to eliminating discrimination, advancing equality of opportunity and tackling prejudice in relation to these protected characteristics.   

We have an important role to play in supporting, encouraging and empowering people from all sections of society to get involved, as active partners in their own care or through engagement in wider discussions about services.

Through our role and our relationships with stakeholders, we are well placed to make a valuable and positive impact in all that we do. This applies across all of our core functions:

  • Community Engagement and Improvement Support
    Through our work with Boards and our relationships with diverse local community groups and networks, we support Boards to improve their approaches to involving people and promote an inclusive approach. This includes supporting the development of Public Partnership Forums that are able to engage with and represent sections of local communities that might otherwise be excluded.

  • Service Change
    Our service change team promotes an inclusive approach to involving people in service change, working with Boards to ensure that they are meeting the equalities expectations which are outlined in relevant guidance.

  • Participation Standard
    The Participation Standard measures how well NHS Boards focus on patients and how well they involve the public in decisions about their care and in the development of local health services.  The implementation of the Standard is intended to advance equality and eliminate unfair discrimination.

  • Participation Network
    We promote key messages about the importance of an inclusive approach to participation through all of the Network's activities: sharing good practice through our web resources, events and publications; producing guidance and standards; and influencing policy development. The Network also carries out targeted work on specific equality strands, such as involving young people.

  • If you are interested in finding out more about our commitment to equality and diversity, you can contact our Equality and Diversity officer via email at: contactpublicinvolvement.his@nhs.net