There's a long way to go on race equality within the NHS
30 March 2021
- A letter from the co-chairs of the chairs and chief executives ethnic minority network to NHS England's Sir Simon Stevens, highlights the concerns of 19 minority ethnic leaders at continued racial inequalities.
- They call on ICSs to develop a long term approach to tackling inequalities, such as through a 10 year strategy with annual milestones.
- They write that equality, diversity and inclusion must be a core part of every board's business, with directors able to demonstrate how they are tackling racism and other inequalities.
Commenting on a letter from the co-chairs of the chairs and chief executives ethnic minority network to NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
"We agree with the network that there is still a long way to go on race equality within the NHS, as demonstrated by the latest workforce race equality standard data and the 2020 NHS staff survey. Development in this area must be prioritised.
"NHS staff from ethnic minority backgrounds have worse experiences at work and face more barriers in progressing their careers than their white counterparts. We must act now to change these and all other manifestations of health inequalities that are evident across the NHS.
"We fully support the proposals outlined by co-chairs and trust leaders Patricia Miller and Raj Jain.
It is vital that the NHS leadership reflects the diversity of local communities, including in ICSs.Deputy Chief Executive
"It is vital that the NHS leadership reflects the diversity of local communities, including in ICSs. There is simply not enough diversity within executive positions.
"The proposal that each ICS develops a 10 year strategy with annual milestones is important. It is only with this long term horizon and clear actions will we make progress. It will take time, money and dedication from the NHS and public services more widely to make this a reality.
"COVID-19 has only reinforced the need to understand better the structural inequalities at play in the NHS and to make action on equality, diversity and inclusion a top priority. Leaders in every part of the system must be held fully to account for how they are tackling racism and other inequalities in their organisations and in the services they deliver across their communities."