This website places cookies on your device to help us improve our service to you. To find out more about the cookies, see our Privacy and Cookies notice
ISD Scotland better information, better decisions, better health

Training Materials

Equality and Diversity

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Happy to Ask, Happy to Tell: Diversity Data Can Make a Difference

NHS Meeting Your Support needs through the collection of equality data

In collaboration with NHS Boards and service users in Scotland, this leaflet 'Meeting Your Support Needs' has been produced to assist NHS Boards and primary care practitioners explain to service users why your are seeking to collect their Support and Access Needs leaflet Download PDF [110kb].

DVD resource to support NHS staff in collecting diversity data from patients

A training DVD has been developed (by a partnership between ISD and NHS Health Scotland and with advice from Boards and other organisations) to increase understanding of diversity monitoring amongst the frontline staff who will be asking the questions of patients.

A training package including the DVD, training manual Pub 2009 Download PDF [4mb], an updated Happy to Ask Hand Book for Trainees (March 2012) Download PDF [770kb] that includes the recommended questions developed and endorsed by Scottish Government for monitoring and leaflet Download PDF [2mb] are available. For copies of the DVD please contact


To improve the very low rates of diversity data (i.e. on ethnicity, religion/belief etc) collected by NHS Boards supporting them to comply with current policies and equalities legislation.

Collecting equality and diversity data from patients is essential in allowing the NHS to understand and respond to the health needs of diverse communities. The Scottish Government has said that we need to support frontline staff understand the importance and relevance of collecting this data. The 'Happy to Ask Happy to Tell' DVD is a key training resource and has been designed to support Boards with achieving this.


An equality information Network agreed to develop a DVD to train staff in gathering all diversity data from patients. The DVD features scenarios focusing on issues raised for each diversity group and shows staff how they could interact with patients to overcome anxieties around provision of data. Stakeholders working with each diversity group, plus staff from NHS Boards, have been involved in developing the DVD and accompanying training materials. The DVD also features introductions about why data is required in terms of the differing health needs of different groups.


A DVD of 42 minutes length is now available to all Boards to make use of in their training programmes for frontline staff involved in data collection. Trainers can use the DVD in sections to promote discussion during training sessions. A training manual and a handbook for trainees will also be available online. Evaluation will focus on uptake and impact on data collection.


Equalities Data Monitoring Guidance Download PDF [420kb] for NHS Scotland including recommended questions. This guidance has been designed to assist NHS Boards with equalities monitoring. This guidance has been updated in March 2012 to now include the recommended questions developed and endorsed by Scottish Government for monitoring and these should be used (as presented in the guidance) when monitoring service users for their equality data.


The training resource helps staff understand the why and how of diversity data collection. The outcome will be that frontline staff demonstrate greater confidence in collecting such data. That will achieve increased understanding of patterns of access to services and health needs of diverse communities in Scotland. Ultimately knowledge of the health needs and access patterns of diverse groups will benefit the whole population which raises the evidence base for improving services. An additional outcome will be increased understanding amongst staff of diversity monitoring generally which may result in their greater willingness to give personal data for workforce monitoring.

© ISD Scotland 2010
Information Services Division,
NHS National Services Scotland,
Gyle Square,
1 South Gyle Crescent,
Edinburgh EH12 9EB,
Tel: 0131 275 7050  
Contact Us

About Information Services Division | Contact Us | Accessibility | Complaints
Copyright | Terms and Conditions | Privacy | Freedom of Information

ISD is a division of NHS NSS
Working at the very heart of the health service, NSS delivers services critical to frontline patient care and in support of the efficient and effective operation of NHS Scotland. Visit the NSS Website for more information