‘Discrimination rife’ in NHS despite duty

The NHS is lagging behind councils in implementing the duty to promote disability equality, which came into force this week, the Disability Rights Commission has said.

The DRC uncovered widespread discrimination in health services against people with learning difficulties and mental health problems, in an 18-month investigation which reported in September.

A spokesperson for the DRC said anecdotal evidence showed problems remained, adding: “There is a significant problem in the health service.”

The investigation found that despite having poorer health, people with mental health problems and those with learning difficulties were less likely to receive adequate treatment or be offered health checks.

The DRC said it would take action under the duty if matters did not improve.

NHS Confederation deputy policy director Jo Webber said NHS bodies and GP practices had worked hard to implement the duty.

Under the duty, all public bodies must publish a disability equality scheme, including an action plan, to show how they will promote disability equality.


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