Inclusive leadership – more important than ever in the NHS

18 September 2020

A new series launched today by NHS Providers will focus on why inclusive leadership is more important than ever in the NHS.

The series of online publications on racism and race inequality in the NHS will share a range of perspectives on how healthcare leaders can help to address structural inequalities, particularly for Black, Asian and minority ethnic people working within the service. Over the next three months, it will highlight existing good practice in the NHS, alongside research, ideas and learnings from other sectors, and discuss what more is needed from the government as we seek to create a fair, just and healthy society for all.

Launching the new series a blog from trust chief executives Patricia Miller and Raj Jain calls for all providers to have an honest conversation about racism and for leaders of health services to lead from the top in order to spearhead major change to tackle these inequalities and prejudices.

Let’s be honest: racism exists in the NHS comes at a time where racial injustice has come to the fore through movements such as Black Lives Matter which has shone a light on the racism and discrimination Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues continue to face in the NHS and throughout the world.

When Nye Bevan created the NHS, one of the core founding principles was equality and inclusivity, a health care for all.

   

The blog reminds us that when Nye Bevan created the NHS, one of the core founding principles was equality and inclusivity, a health care for all, and questions if this has been lost. It focuses on the NHS equality agenda, highlighting its two clear responsibilities. Firstly, to look after its people, ensuring they feel valued and have a sense of belonging. Secondly, to the communities it serves, ensuring patients have access to the services they need. It also recognises that if the NHS does not acknowledge and welcome diversity within its workforce, nor ensures that the leadership at every level represents the communities that it serves, then hopes to gain a true understanding of the root causes of health inequalities will fall short, therefore halting any progress for change.

Launching the Inclusive Leadership series, NHS Providers deputy chief executive, Saffron Cordery said:

“As a society we must tackle race inequality, racism and prejudice head on, and as individuals that work must begin at home and where we work.

"Our health service must lead by example, by treating staff and patients equally and fairly and making our Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff feel valued and respected in all organisations."

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive

“Our health service must lead by example, by treating staff and patients equally and fairly and making our Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff feel valued and respected in all organisations. This has to come from the very top of organisations.

“This new series seeks to shine a light on what is already being done to achieve this and to provide information and support to help leaders across the NHS continue to build on their work to create a truly inclusive health service.

“If we can have a health care system that is equal, and welcoming to all people no matter their race, background, gender, sexual orientation or religion, we can show the nation that there is no room for racism or prejudice of any kind.”

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