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NHS Equality Delivery System (NHS EDS2)

EDS2 picture

The Equality Delivery System (EDS) was launched by Sir David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive on 10th November 2011. It was developed after listening to the views of over 3,000 people including patients, carers, local communities, voluntary organisations and NHS staff.

The EDS is a toolkit that helps NHS organisations improve the services they provide for their local communities, consider health inequalities in their locality and provide better working environments, free of discrimination, for those who work in the NHS. It is based on four goals, with 18 specific outcomes. As part of the EDS process, NHS organisations engage with their patients, local voluntary organisations and their staff in order to grade their equality performance, identify where improvements can be made and act on their findings. The EDS goals are:

In November 2012, Shared Intelligence published their report ‘Evaluation of the equality delivery system for the NHS’ which looked at how the EDS has been adopted across NHS organisations. Based on this evaluation and subsequent engagement with the NHS and key stakeholders, a refreshed EDS – known as EDS2 – was made available in November 2013.

The aim of the NHS Equality Delivery System 2 (EDS2) is to support Trusts deliver better patient outcomes and a better working environment for staff.  

The EDS2 is measured against 18 outcomes across 4 goals that are graded in partnership with patients, the public, staff and staff-side organisations. Goals 1 and 2 are focussed on patient experience, goal 3 is focussed on the Trust’s workforce and goal 4 is about the Board and Senior Management Team of the Trust.

The grades start at undeveloped and go through developing and achieving up to excelling, the grade for each outcome is decided based on the evidence that can be provided on how people from the protected characteristic groups fare compared to everyone else:


Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust utilised the EDS framework for the first time in February 2012 and has continued to utilise the refreshed EDS2 framework used the feedback from the consultation with stakeholders to create and prioritise its equality objectives for 2012-17. The EDS assessments for LCH can be viewed here >>