Date lodged: 19 June 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what audit it expects NHS boards to take of the accessibility of their premises to disabled people; whether these are carried out in-house, and how it ensures that the boards implement the recommendations.
Answered by: Jeane Freeman 3 July 2018
NHS Boards are required to comply with relevant legislation and standards for accessibility, which includes assessment and monitoring of their compliance against such requirements:
The Equality Act 2010 requires listed public authorities, including NHS Boards, to develop and publish equality outcomes and to report on progress every two years. In setting these outcomes, Boards must consider relevant evidence and take steps to involve people with protected characteristics, including disability. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission monitors and assesses public bodies’ compliance with this and other Public Sector Equality Duties.
Under the NHSScotland guidance, NHS Boards complete an annual assessment and corresponding report that includes their high level in-house assessment of the current statutory and functional condition of their facilities, as well as their strategy for future service provision. Each Board’s return is reviewed annually by the Scottish Government and the returns are summarised in the annual State of NHSScotland Assets and Facilities report which is published each year.
For new premises or major upgrades to premises, Equality Impact Assessments ensure that relevant evidence on equality is gathered and informs decision-making. In addition, the NHSScotland Design Assessment Process assesses compliance with statutory (including equality) and other and mandatory requirements.