The NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is designed to improve workplace experience and career opportunities for Disabled people working, or seeking employment, in the NHS.
This focus is important because research shows that a motivated, included and valued workforce helps to deliver high quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and improved patient safety.
WDES is a set of ten specific measures (metrics) that will enable NHS organisations to compare the experiences of Disabled and non-disabled staff. This information will then be used by the organisation to develop a local action plan and enable them to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality.
WDES was implemented on 1 April 2019 and has initially been restricted to NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts for the first two years of implementation.
NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG has two roles in relation to the WDES, as an employer and as the commissioner of services provided by NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts in Birmingham and Solihull. As a commissioner we will be seeking assurance from our providers that this standard has been implemented and progress is being made.
The Improvement and Assessment Framework (IAF) sets out the performance framework for CCGs. The roles that CCGs are expected to play in rolling out, supporting the WDES and/or implementing the WDES as employing bodies will be agreed as part of the new IAF. Discussions about the 2019/20 IAF and the WDES will take place in 2019.
Further information on the WDES is available on the NHS England webpages here.