To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on her Department's progress in fulfilling its statutory obligation as a public body to promote the rights of disabled people.
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 placed new duties on public authorities to promote equality for disabled people, the disability equality duty.
The Department has agreed a comprehensive joint programme of work with the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) that is—among other things—designed to deliver compliance with the new statutory duty, both within the Department and across health and social care.
In addition, the Department and the DRC have jointly produced leaflets for front-line staff in both primary and secondary care. These leaflets are aimed at improving services for disabled people by giving practical examples of ways in which front-line staff can meet the access requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. First published in 2004, over 130,000 have so far been ordered, and they have recently been reprinted. To further ensure that all health and social care staff are properly aware of the needs of disabled people, the Department and DRC are producing a comprehensive education and learning programme for national health service and social care staff that will be available later this year.