Implementing a ban on age discrimination in the NHS - making effective, appropriate decisions

This briefing gives a short overview of the ban on age discrimination, aimed at those who plan, commission or provide NHS services.



The ban is only intended to prevent harmful uses of age.  Positive use of age in providing, commissioning and planning services will be able to continue. The Act does not prevent differential treatment where this is objectively justified. Policy makers, commissioners, providers and individuals working in health and social care should continue to take into account someone’s age when it is right and beneficial to do so.

From 1 October 2012, it will be unlawful for service providers and commissioners to discriminate, victimise, or harass a person because of age. A person will be protected when requesting, and during the course of being provided with, goods facilities and services.  If a member of the public aged 18 or over believes that they have been treated less favourably because of age, they will be able to take organisations or individuals to court - and may be awarded compensation.