How we are addressing age issues
The NHSGGC Equality Scheme sets out what the organisation is doing to ensure it meets its responsibilities to promote age equality and remove age discrimination across all its services and functions.
A ban on age discrimination within public services came into force in April 2012. This ban applies to people aged 18 years and over. It offers no protection to those aged under 18 years. Lack of protection under the Equality Act is mitigated to a small degree by the Scottish Government's Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 which aims to ensure that children's rights are upheld across the public sector.
NHSGGC is working to introduce inequalities sensitive practice as a means of ensuring no-one using our services is discriminated against on grounds of age or any other protected characteristic.
It is also working to raise awareness of the nature of direct and indirect age discrimination and our responsibilities under equalities legislation. This has included reviewing any age-based criteria for accessing services and changing to a needs-based approach to both service access and judgments and decisions about treatment and care.
Overall service planning is increasingly taking account of the changing age profile of the population and the impact this will have on demand for services. Awareness of the need to ensure age equality within our services informs this planning process. However, there are circumstances where a targeted approach to specific age groups is appropriate both when providing services and when consulting and involving individuals. For example, young people have been actively involved in the planning and design of the proposed new children’s hospital. Sexual health services through the Sandyford Initiative have been designed to ensure that they are accessible to young people and have the confidence of young people.
Increased protection for adults at risk of harm or neglect is in place through the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007. While the Act defines adults at risk as those aged 16 years and over, it provides protection to many older people with cognitive impairments such as dementia.