The NHS has published its latest annual report on the workforce disability equality standard.
The new report, which is the fourth since its launch in 2019, shows that one in 20 (4.8%) of voting NHS board members are disabled – the highest proportion on record. Up from 3.8% from last year’s report.
The 2022 data also shows the likelihood of a disabled candidate being accepted to an NHS role is on par with non-disabled applicants; this has improved from 1.18 in 2019 to 1.08 last year. In this case, one represents equity of opportunity.
Apart from one, all trusts are actively giving disabled people a platform to be heard, according to NHS England – as many as 34 trusts were not doing this in 2019.
This is against the backdrop of statistics that show three in 10 (30%) disabled staff members felt pressure from their manager to attend work despite not being well enough to perform their duties.
This is the lowest level in five years and compares to just over two in 10 (22%) non-disabled staff members experiencing the same thing.
There is also a reduction in the percentage of disabled staff suffering harassment, bullying or abuse from managers – 17% compared to 19.4% in 2017.
The proportion of disabled staff who experience this from colleagues has also gone down – one in four (25%) disabled staff suffered from bullying last year compared to a slightly higher amount (26.4%) in 2018. This is still higher than that of non-disabled colleagues (16.4%), however.
A third of disabled staff also received harassment from the public; this compares to one in four (25.7%) non-disabled staff.
This summer’s equality, diversity and inclusion improvement plan indicates that psychological support should be made available to staff who suffer from abuse, harassment, bullying or even violence by next spring.
NHS trusts have also been asked to set their own targets to reduce this by next March.
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