NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES)

What is the Workforce Disability Equality Standard?

The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of specific measures (metrics) that will enable NHS organisations to compare the experiences of disabled and non-disabled staff. This information will then be used by the relevant organisations to develop a local action plan and enable them to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality. Initially aimed towards NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, the Staffordshire CCGs will have a monitoring role in supporting the implementation of the WDES and by giving due regard to Standard through their day to day functions.

Making a difference for disabled staff

The WDES is important, because research shows that a motivated, included and valued workforce helps to deliver high quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and improved patient safety.

The implementation of the WDES will help to better understand the experiences of their disabled staff. It will support positive change for existing employees and enable a more inclusive environment for disabled people working in the NHS. Like the Workforce Race Equality Standard on which the WDES is in part modelled, it will also allow us to identify good practice and compare performance regionally and by type of trust.

Date Action – Initially aimed at NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts



Autumn 2018

Publication of the WDES along with guidance and resources to assist with the report process.

Autumn/Winter 2018

NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts review their data and reporting arrangements against the metrics.

May 2019

Online WDES reporting form published by NHS England.

June 2019

Prepopulated data spreadsheet sent to NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts.

August 2019

First WDES reports to be published in August 2019, based on data from the 2018/19 financial year.

April/May 2020

First National WDES annual report published by NHS England.

 Publishing Workforce Disability Equality Standard Information

View further information about the NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES).