Introduction to the audit tool

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The audit tool comprises 54 criteria of age discrimination and/ or age equality. Each criterion is presented in the form of three statements:

  • A 'RED' statement describes a situation in urgent need of significant improvement.
  • An 'AMBER' statement describes a situation that is not critically poor but where there is still room for significant improvement.
  • A 'GREEN' statement describes a situation in which local services reflect current best practice, where age discrimination is almost or completely eradicated.

To complete the audit, you assess your local situation and select the statement that most closely matches it. It is important that you also record the rationale for your decision in the text box provided.

Statements are divided into three main categories:

A: Organisational and system readiness

Implementation of the age-equality legislation is likely to involve significant challenges as well as new opportunities for organisations across the health and social care system. It will require changes not only in policy, practice and service design, but also in attitudes and cultural norms.

The criteria in this section are designed to help you assess where your organisation is now in relation to these challenges and opportunities, where you want to get to and how to achieve your aspirations.

The aim is to offer precise and appropriate areas for exploration, dialogue and judgement, in order to end age discrimination and achieve age equality within and across health and social care services, and the organisations that commission and deliver them.

Five main headings divide these 20 criteria into the key areas to be assessed in relation to age equality in health and social care services and organisations. These are listed in the right hand column. You can view and download the detailed statements relating to each criterion by clicking on the highlighted buttons.

B: Service criteria

Three sub-sections relating to community-based health and social care, mental health, and acute care and treatment have been developed, including a total of 33 criteria. These are based on a combination of national comparative data on the different levels and rates of service provision, evidence compiled as part of the Achieving age equality in health and social care review (Sir Ian Carruthers and Jan Ormondroyd, 2009). They focus on those areas in the review where common concerns and critical issues were highlighted. These criteria are also listed in the right-hand column, with the detailed statements relating to each criterion available to view and download.

C: Custom criteria

It is recognised that there may be issues in specific areas that are not adequately reflected in the audit tool's set of age-equality criteria. In section C therefore, local teams can create and add up to five locally generated criteria, and assess their performance against these. These measures will be saved with the rest of your input, and may only be accessed by the logged-in local team.

There are two downloadable tables that show where the NHS and social care practice guides provide information that relate to the criteria.

How the NHS practice guide supports the audit tool criteria (PDF)
How the SCIE social care practice guide supports the audit tool criteria (PDF)


Your log in details will have been sent to your Chief Executive or Director of Adult Social Services as an attachment to the letter from Sir Ian Carruthers, Jan Ormondroyd and John Dixon dated [DATE REQUIRED] Gateway Reference [REF REQUIRED]. This ensures that each set of responses is seen only by that local team. If you need log in details, contact age-equality@southwest.nhs.uk.You will almost certainly need several sessions to complete the audit. When you log off, your progress and comments will be saved. You may recall your progress when you resume the audit. Up to the point when you decide that you have completed the audit and request results, you can go back and edit completed sections.




If you have not received your log in details already, contact age-equality@southwest.nhs.uk. Once logged in you are able to save your progress so that you can return at any time to continue.


You can download a full summary list of all criteria here.

You can view and download criteria sets by selecting from the listings below.

A: Organisational and system readiness

  1. A1 - Commissioning and service development
    (4 criteria)
  2. A2 - Leadership and managing change
    (5 criteria)
  3. A3 - Involvement and participation
    (4 criteria)
  4. A4 - Workforce development and human resources
    (4 criteria)
  5. A5 - Quality management and quality assurance systems
    (3 criteria)

B: Service criteria

  1. B1 - Acute care and treatment
    1. B1 - Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
      (2 criteria)
    2. B2 - Cancer services
      (4 criteria)
    3. B3 - Emergency and urgent care
      (2 criteria)
    4. B4 - Planned care
      (3 criteria)
    5. B5 - Experience of inpatient care
      (1 criteria)
  2. B2 - Mental Health
    1. B1 - Public mental health and prevention
      (2 criteria)
    2. B2 - Primary mental health care
      (2 criteria)
    3. B3 - Mental health services
      (5 criteria)
  3. B3 - Community-based health and social care
    1. B1 - Early intervention and prevention
      (2 criteria)
    2. B2 - Primary and community care
      (2 criteria)
    3. B3 - Personalised care and support
      (9 criteria)
    4. B4 - End of life care
      (2 criteria)