Services fail to target disabled people

Disabled people are being discriminated against in the NHS as a
result of a lack of targets ensuring services meet their needs,
writes Amy Taylor.

Unlike the monitoring of service use by people from black and
ethnic minority communities, there are currently no targets in the
NHS for monitoring disabled people’s contact with different

Karen Shook, trust advisor with responsibility for disability
equality and user involvement at Brent Primary Care Trust said:
“Under the Race Relations Amendment Act, there are targets in the
NHS for the percentage of services which are ethnically monitored.
There is nothing like this for disabled people.”

There are also no specific targets on the employment of disabled
people within the NHS, despite various pieces of guidance, much of
which date back to 2000.

The disability services team, which is responsible for providing
information about the implementation of the Disability
Discrimination Act on the doh website, has not updated its pages
since November 2001.

A spokesperson for the doh said an assessment of current
provision for disabled people was “planned”, and that discussions
were already underway with the Disability Rights Commission on
forming a strategy on disability employment equality in the

New research by disabled people’s charity Leonard Cheshire has
also found that, while over 90 per cent of primary care trusts said
they included disabled access in their policies, significant
numbers of disabled people still experienced unequal treatment,
with staff attitudes and poor communication provision being
identified as key problems.

‘Fair Treatment?’ from 020 7802 8204

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