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Equality and Diversity

Gender Equality

Definition: gender refers to the social differences between men and women that have been learned, are changeable over time and have wide variations both within and between cultures. The term is often used to differentiate from 'sex' which refers to biological differences.

The Equality Act 2006 brought into effect the Gender Equality Duty from 1st April 2007. The Gender Equality Duty requires all public bodies to be proactive in the promotion of gender equality. NHS Grampian must ensure that there is no gender discrimination in the health care services it provides, nor in the recruitment, selection and management of NHS Grampian staff and prospective employees.

Gender equality within NHS Grampian is taken forward by the NHS Grampian Diversity Working Group. This is a multi-disciplinary group, which includes representatives of a number of local gender interest groups.

As required by the Equality Act 2006, the Diversity Working Group carried out involvement and consultation with our local gender communities and produced the NHS Grampian Gender Equality Scheme 2007-2010 (GES). The GES identified gender equality goals and described how these would be taken forward. The priority areas of work set out in the GES are:

  • Gender based abuse, both physical and psychological.

  • The differential uptake of health care services in Grampian between men and women. 

  • To explore the feasibility of expanding the range of gender dysphoria services available to include hair removal, facial remodeling and additional counselling input.

  • To further investigate the needs of men who have been raped and sexually abused.

  • Staff training to enable NHS Grampian staff to be sensitive to gender related needs.

  • Monitoring and evaluation of gender equality performance.

  • Gender equality within NHS Grampian

  • Impact Assessment.

Good progress has been made in each area.

During 2008, the Department of Health produced two publications which included checklists indicating the range of services which should be available to the trans community. These checklists have been used to assess the current NHS Grampian provision. 

The two publications are:


The trans gender services have been reviewed in the light of the guidance and a paper is currently progressing through the medical Consultation structure within Grampian, to gauge support for the changes/developments which the local trans community would like to see made, namely:

  • Creation of a peer support group, either facilitated or self-led

  • Removal of facial hair for trans women, at an early stage in the Real Life Experience period (RLE usually 12 months)

  • Earlier availability of chest reconstruction for trans men

  • Earlier availability of breast augmentation for trans women

  • Availability on the NHS of Facial remodeling for trans women. This is not one of the services the Department of Health recommends that Health Boards should provide. However, there is a strong demand for this service from local trans women.

There will always be a tension between the desire of the individual, having made the decision to transition, wishing to move forward, and the caution of the specialist Trans Gender Consultant and surgeons. The Trans Gender Consultant and surgeons are reluctant to sanction irreversible surgery, until there is clear evidence from the 12 month RLE period, that the patient is totally committed to the transition process.

Equality Act Specific Duty - Equal Pay Statement

This statement has been agreed in partnership and will be reviewed on a regular basis by the NHS Grampian Partnership Forum and the Staff Governance Committee.

NHS Grampian is committed to the principles of equality of opportunity in employment and believes that staff should receive equal pay for the same or broadly similar work, or work rated as equivalent and for work of equal value, regardless of their age, disability, ethnicity or race, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, political beliefs, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.