Workforce Disability Equality Standards (WDES)
The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is mandated by the NHS Standard Contract from April 2019 and applies to all NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts. The WDES is a data-based standard that uses a series of measures (Metrics) to improve the experiences of Disabled staff in the NHS.
The WDES comprises ten Metrics which draw from a range of existing data sources (recruitment dataset, ESR, NHS Staff Survey, HR data etc). You can find more detail about the metrics here https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/wdes-metrics.pdf
The Metrics have been developed to capture information relating to the experience of Disabled staff in the NHS. Research has shown that Disabled staff have poorer experiences in areas such as bullying and harassment and attending work when feeling ill, when compared to non-disabled staff.
The ten Metrics have been informed by research by Middlesex and Bedford Universities, conducted on behalf of NHS England, and by Disability Rights UK on behalf of NHS Employers. The annual collection of the WDES Metrics will allow NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts to better understand and improve the employment experiences of Disabled staff in the NHS.
The WDES Metrics have been designed to be as simple and straightforward as possible. The development of the WDES owes a great deal to the consultation and engagement with NHS key stakeholders, including Disabled staff, trade unions and senior leaders.