Equally outstanding: Equality and human rights - good practice examples

Page last updated: 12 May 2022


We investigated some case studies of services that have used equality and human rights to improve care.

They are very different services yet share common factors.

We have identified nine of these common factors that have been crucial in developing outstanding care. We have selected examples from our case studies to illustrate them.

None of these examples take large resources – but shifts in thinking and behaviour.

  1. Committed leadership: Leaders are enthusiastic and committed to equality and human rights. This should be the business of all leaders.
  2. Principles in action: Equality and human rights run through from organisational values, through leadership behaviours and actions to frontline staff and their work.
  3. Staff equality: This is a basis for quality improvement. It includes work to develop an open and inclusive culture and action to tackle specific workforce inequalities.
  4. Improvement through equality and human rights: They started with considering a quality improvement issue, then incorporated equality and human rights as they developed a solution.
  5. Staff are improvement partners: All staff think about, plan and deliver equality and human rights interventions to improve care quality. There is a no blame culture of learning and collective leadership.
  6. Serving the person better: They listened carefully to people who used the service and considered their lives and aspirations.
  7. Involving others: They linked to outside organisations for support.
  8. Courage: This included positive risk-taking, being honest about issues and tackling difficult problems
  9. Continuous learning and curiosity: They learned from mistakes and were always looking for the next thing that they could improve.