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Attention has been focussed recently on whether NHS Trusts in England are responding properly to the Gender Equality Duty, since it came into force in April 2007. Research by the Men's Health Forum highlighted that many of the published gender equality schemes it had researched were poorly evidenced, focussed on processes rather than outcomes, and showed a lack of effective consultation and involvement with service users.

Plain Sense was recently commissioned to put together a series of conference workshops for senior NHS Trust managers in England's North West region, to discuss how to be more effective and compliant in this area. Presenters included figures from the Strategic Health Authority, the Department of Health and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to explain what was expected. Just as importantly, an array of stakeholder speakers were invited to explain their view of the real priorities for promoting equality.

Karen Moore is a policy officer with the Women's Resource Centre - a national umbrella organisation based in London. In her speech, presented here in full, she challenged NHS Trust managers to look strategically at issues like violence against women and support for rape crisis centres as a means of avoiding longer term and more intractable mental and physical health issues. Afterwards her colleague, Darlene Corry, provided an interview summing up the challenges and opportunities in thinking 'out of the box' on these kinds of issues.

If you would like to view a handout of Karen's slides whilst listening to her talk then click on this link. (PDF 141Kb; 4 pages)

In the next episode it's the men's turn.

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