Equality Delivery System for the NHS – EDS2

The Equality Delivery System (EDS) was commissioned by the national Equality and Diversity Council in 2010 and launched in July 2011. It is a system that helps NHS organisations improve the services they provide for their local communities and provide better working environments, free of discrimination, for those who work in the NHS, while meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.  The EDS was developed by the NHS, for the NHS, taking inspiration from existing work and good practice.

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 main purpose of the EDS2 was, and remains, to help local NHS organisations, in discussion with local partners including local populations, review and improve their performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010. By using the EDS2, NHS organisations can also be helped to deliver on the Public Sector Equality Duty.

EDS2 is more streamlined and simpler to use compared with the original EDS. It is aligned to NHS England’s commitment to an inclusive NHS that is fair and accessible to all. The EDS2 guidance document and the latest EDS2 resources are available at the bottom of this page.

EDS2 animation video

The short animation video below explains what EDS2 is and how it should be implemented by local NHS organisations. This video can be used by NHS organisations to help communicate the key EDS2 messages to their workforce and communities.

EDS2: Obligations on NHS Commissioners and Providers

EDS2 is a generic system designed for both NHS commissioners and NHS providers. As different NHS organisations apply EDS2 outcomes to their performance, they should do so with regard to their specific roles and responsibilities. Further detailed information regarding how EDS2 applies to different types of NHS organisations can be found in the 2013 EDS2 guidance document.

From April 2015, EDS2 implementation by NHS provider organisations will be made mandatory in the NHS Standard Contract. EDS2 implementation is explicitly cited within the CCG Assurance Framework, and will continue to be a key requirement for all NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

NHS organisations should apply EDS2 in accordance with the 2013 EDS2 guidance document, and in particular, the 9 Steps for EDS2 implementation set out in this guidance.

EDS2 summary report template

Implementation of EDS2 is a requirement on both NHS commissioners and NHS provider organisations. In light of the inclusion of EDS2 in the NHS standard contract and in the CCG Assurance Framework, NHS organisations should use the EDS2 summary report template to produce and publish a summary of their EDS2 implementation.

The EDS2 Summary Report (compatible with Adobe Reader 11) is designed to give an overview of the organisation’s most recent EDS2 implementation. Once completed by the NHS organisation, this summary report should be published on the organisation’s website. The EDS2 Report Template Instructions Sheet will help organisations when completing the report.

Please use the version compatible with your system, and ‘save as’ into the appropriate folder. The following versions of the EDS2 summary report are also available:

The EDS2 guidance document and all other EDS2 resources are available below

Equality Delivery System for the NHS – EDS2: Guidance and Resources

Below are the EDS2 documents, including the refreshed Equality Delivery System for the NHS – EDS2 guidance document (published in November 2013).


Please contact the Equality and Health Inequalities Unit if you have any queries or would like any further information: england.eandhi@nhs.net