Health Services: Equality
Annette Brooke (Mid Dorset and North Poole, Liberal Democrat)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if his Department will issue guidance to ensure that all professional regulatory organisations review and, if necessary, revise their standards, codes of conduct and education programmes to advance equality and to ensure that age discriminatory behaviour is identified as unacceptable; and if he will make a statement.
Anne Milton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Public Health), Health; Guildford, Conservative)
The health and care professions regulatory bodies are statutory bodies which are independent of Government. The Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend Mr Lansley, has no powers to direct the way that they undertake their functions. However, the Government intend to commence provisions of the Equality Act later this year which will prohibit age discrimination in the provision of services. Under the Equality Act, the health professions regulators will be under a duty to eliminate age discrimination and advance equality of opportunity for older people. We would expect these duties to be reflected in the way that the professional regulators undertake all of their functions, including those in respect of setting standards for regulated professionals.