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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)

Published: 31/10/2018

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council (EDC) have recommended that a Workforce Disability Equality Standard should be mandated via the NHS Standard Contract in England for April 2018. The 2017-2018 period has been designated as the preparatory year.
The WDES will follow similar processes as the WRES through a set of reports. We will then develop a series of action plans once the reports are completed to confront any trends or issues.

Areas of concern 

Quoted from NHS England, here are the key areas of concern. They will be condensed into a WDES Metric, like WRES's Nine Point Indicators, at a later date:


  • "Concerns about staff with disabilities’ representation at all levels of the NHS and covering different types of disability.Concerns about staff with disabilities’ representation at all levels of the NHS and covering different types of disability.
  • A significant disparity between the proportion of staff who declare a disability on the Electronic Staff Record System and of those who declare a disability on the anonymous NHS staff survey.
  • Differential perceptions about how well disabled staff feel they supported by managers
  • Differential experience of bullying and harassment by peers and managers with disabled staff reporting significantly higher rates than their non-disabled counterparts.
  • Differential levels of confidence for staff with disabilities compared to non-disabled staff with regard to both the value of appraisals and how they feel valued by their organisations.
  • Potential issues for disabled staff with differential levels of access to training and development as non-disabled staff.
  • Variation in whether and how well NHS organisations make reasonable adjustments for staff with disabilities, from the recruitment process to the end of employment.
  • Differential numbers of staff with disabilities who are the subject of employment processes and procedures, for example disciplinary and capability processes." (NHS England's WDES Page)


Find out more about Workforce Disability Equality Standard

View the BSMHFT Workforce Disability Equality Standard Report 2019