We often associate age equality as only relevant to older people over the age of 65. The employment equality (age) regulations 2006 clearly state the importance of acknowledging that age discrimination can be an issue for any age group.
Stereotypes and stigma around age often focus on two specific age groups, younger people (under 18) and older people (over 65).
The effects of stereotypes are very real in society with particular age groups feeling marginalised and excluded. Often we do this without even realising it.
Within Health & Social care settings for many years particular age groups have been passed over for treatment simply because of their age. The NHS continuing care framework goes some way to ensuring a fairer service for all. This can only fully be ensured by services taking these issues seriously and not treating people unfairly because of their age.
What is the Trust doing?
Employment Example the Trust has very rigorous processes in place for protecting staff from discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace. The Equality Regulations 2006 for Age give clear instruction to Trusts on new processes for recruitment, training and retirement. The biggest change for staff retiring has been allowing all staff to request to stay on in work past their retirement age.
In addition the Trust is continually developing apprenticeship schemes to encourage more younger people (aged under 25) into employment with the Trust.
Service Provision Example The Trust provides a number of services targeted to specific age groups:
Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) 12-18 years
- Specialist Mental Health Services for Older People 65+ years
The Trust also has in place positive policies to address some of the issues service users may present with during transition from one service to another. Specifically:
- CAMHS to Adult Mental Health
- Adult Mental Health to Mental Health Services for Older People
The Trust also has positive policies in place to ensure that service users using adult services are only referred onto older people’s services if the current service cannot meet their needs, or if there is a mutual agreement to do this between the service and service user.
When the Single Equality Bill becomes law in 2010 it will include legal provisions for protecting everyone from age discrimination. (As currently only those in employment and training are protected). This may well require us to look closely at how services are provided and what additional knowledge and skills are needed to offer an age inclusive service to all.