Disappointing findings on diversity in NHS leadership
07 June 2019
- A report from NHS Confederation finds fewer people of black and minority ethnicity (BME) and women occupy leadership positions.
- The percentage of chairs and non-executives of NHS trusts from a BME background has nearly halved in the last decade - from 15% in April 2010 to 8% today.
- The percentage of women in chair and non-executive roles has fallen from 47% in 2002 to 38% today.
- There has been no increase in the proportion of non-executive leaders with a disability – this has remained static, between 5 and 6%.
- The report highlights two factors that may have had an impact on Board diversity, including the abolition of the NHS Appointments Commission in 2012 and the creation of foundation trusts in the mid-2000s.
Responding to the report by chairs and non-executives in the NHS on the need for diverse leadership, published by the NHS Confederation, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:
“These findings are depressing and highlight once again just how far we have to go to improve the diversity of the leadership in the NHS.
“It is particularly disappointing to see that among chairs and non-executives, we appear to have gone backwards.
There is compelling evidence linking diversity in leadership to improved performance, quality and patient experience, and we need to follow through on this.Deputy Chief Executive
“There is compelling evidence linking diversity in leadership to improved performance, quality and patient experience, and we need to follow through on this.
“We know some trusts have done really good work to improve diversity, but it is incumbent on us all to better reflect the communities we serve.”