To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance is being given to primary care trusts to ensure that the cuts to services are not being targeted in a discriminatory manner; and what steps they are taking to ensure that the cuts do not discriminate against gender re-assignment cases; and whether they will ensure that their financial policies are equitable and have been subject to equality impact assessments.
Primary care trusts, as with other National Health Service organisations and public bodies, must fulfil their statutory responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010, including assessing the impact of their decisions. Guidance is available from a number of sources including the Equality and Human Rights Commission and NHS employers with whom the department is working to support the NHS to implement the Equality Act.
The NHS chief executive wrote to all NHS organisations in September 2010 reminding them that compliance with both the spirit and letter of the Act is essential during transition. The NHS Operating Framework 2011-12 also reminds NHS organisations to ensure that all decisions are taken with due regard to the public sector equality duty to ensure that decisions are fair, transparent, accountable, evidence-based and consider the needs and rights of staff and patients across all the equality characteristics.