Urgent action is needed to tackle racial health inequalities
28 October 2020
Responding to the Labour party’s report An avoidable crisis, NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said:
“We welcome the report’s focus on structural racism and health inequalities for Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. It is vital that these systemic challenges are acknowledged and addressed both within the NHS and across society.
“We agree that urgent action is needed to tackle health inequalities and to ensure people from all ethnic backgrounds and nationalities have confidence in the services being provided to them and their communities.
“Our health and care system must do all that it can to dispel any disparity in health outcomes between communities.
“During the first wave of the pandemic we saw how people, including staff, from ethnic minority communities were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
“Trusts have made progress in supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic people colleagues in recent months. However, it is clear there will be a need for additional support during the second wave.
“The report’s call for more diversity in NHS leadership is an issue we wholeheartedly support and one which applies to national and local NHS organisations. While there has been some progress in Black, Asian and minority ethnic people representation on boards in recent years, it has not been fast enough, nor has it resulted in consistent improvements in race equality measures across the workforce.
“Trusts have made it clear that addressing racial inequalities for staff and for the communities they serve remains among the very highest priorities for the service.
“Progress is being made, but there is a lot of work to be done to ensure racial equality is engrained in the culture of the health service, and for change to happen more quickly and sustainably.”