We produce guidance and quality standards to help reduce health inequalities, improve access to healthcare and encourage health improvement.

We are committed to:

  • Promoting equality in all aspects of our work.
  • Eliminating discrimination, advancing equality of opportunity, and fostering good relations, as required by the Equality Act 2010.
  • Complying with the Human Rights Act 1998.

View our equality objectives and equality programme 2020 - 2024.

Equalities report 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022

What did we aim to achieve?

Our current equality objectives aim to:

  • Review and improve equality considerations throughout development of our guidance.
  • Develop our workforce and culture to be more equal, diverse and inclusive. 

How did we get on in 2021 to 2022?

Committee membership

  • 10% increase of applicants to our committees from Asian or Asian British background.
  • An increase in applicants disclosing age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and religion/belief.
  • 11% decrease in the number of people not disclosing their ethnicity.


We recognise that we need to make improvements to ensure we create a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone feels that they belong and can flourish.

  • We’ve seen an increased overall percentage representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff, from 14.7% to 16%. And there’s been an increased percentage of Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff at band 8a and above, from 11.1% to 13%.
  • However, Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff continue to be underrepresented at the most senior levels, with no staff from this group at band 9 and above on 31 March 2022.
  • At interview stage, Black and Black British candidates are 5.75 times less likely, and Asian and Asian British are 2.7 times less likely, to be appointed than their white counterparts. Both figures have worsened since last year.
  • Sickness and turnover rates have worsened for some groups, most notably for disabled staff.
  • There’s been a 27% decrease in non-disclosure rates across protected characteristics, and particularly for disabled staff.
  • We’ve improved the scope and depth of our equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data reporting, especially around sexual orientation. In future this will allow for improved comparison, and enable us to better track our progress.

What else are we doing?

  • Worked with former and current committee members to co-produce an action plan around increasing diversity within our advisory groups. A cross-institute delivery group will work to implement this plan.
  • Continue to carry out listening events with committee members. We will discuss diversity within advisory committees and during guidance development.
  • Introduce a simplified process for recruiting to and joining committees.
  • Review our interview practice, with recommendations and actions to address barriers and challenges.
  • Reach out to other arms length bodies to advance our learning and share examples of best practice.
  • Look at ways we can put in place effective workplace adjustments to those who ask for them.
  • We participate in the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) and NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES).
  • We are Stonewall Diversity Champions and a Disability Confident Employer.

Read the full Download the 2021 to 2022 annual equality report (Word).