Diversity in NHS leadership

At NHS Providers, we believe that there are three things needed to drive meaningful change on race equality: hearts and minds change, confidence and capability to act and taking accountability. For trust leaders, when we talk about hearts and minds change, this means creating more safe spaces and committing to have the difficult conversations on race.

In a recent episode of The Provider Podcast, we explored the importance of diversity in NHS leadership with Selina Ullah, chair of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Foluke Ajayi, chief executive at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust. There was a recognition of the contribution white allies can make to push change for race equality in the health and social care sector.

With only 4% of white and ethnic minority trust leaders telling us that race equality is fully embedded in their organisations, the overriding challenge remains - all board members need to take shared responsibility and see tackling race equality as a core part of their role.

He listened and tried to understand how it felt for me in an organisation that was predominantly white.

Selina Ullah    Chair of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

My journey as a white ally: In conversation with trust leaders

In our new In conversation with series, we speak to white leaders in the NHS about their personal journeys in allyship, looking at key milestones and turning points, lessons learnt, what still needs to be done and the challenge ahead.

We do not suggest the leaders featured in the series have completed their journeys, nor that they know all the answers. What we do know is that it should not be up to ethnic minority staff to solve racism. We need white leaders to use their positions of power and influence to effect real change.

We hope these videos will act as a resource to spark conversations, facilitate peer learning, and catalyse action.

We'll be sharing more interviews with trust leaders over the coming months.

What next?