Welcome progress on racial inclusion in the medical workforce but more work needs to be done

21 July 2021

  • NHS England and NHS Improvement have published the first medical workforce race equality standard (WRES) 2020 report, a progression from the annual WRES report to provide detailed analysis of race equality data specifically for doctors and dentists.
  • The report enables organisations to understand the challenges that exist for Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff in the medical workforce, with the aim of encouraging improvement by learning and sharing good practice.


Responding to the first medical workforce race equality standard report, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:


"We're pleased to see development of the workforce race equality standard to now provide this in depth assessment of the medical workforce.

"This report underlines the enormous contribution of Black, Asian and minority ethnic doctors, who make up 42% of the workforce. Encouragingly, representation at most levels has grown since 2019, and it is positive to see high levels of motivation and engagement among Black, Asian and minority ethnic doctors.

There is much work to be done to further address racial inequalities in the medical workforce, particularly around recruitment and promotion.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive

"However, there is much work to be done to further address racial inequalities in the medical workforce, particularly around recruitment and promotion. Black, Asian and minority ethnic doctors are less likely to be appointed to consultant level from a shortlist compared to their white peers, and less likely to feel their organisation provides equal opportunity.

"It is unacceptable in the NHS that Black, Asian and minority ethnic doctors are twice as likely to receive a complaint or be referred to the General Medical Council, less likely to gain revalidation, and twice as likely to suffer discrimination from colleagues and managers at work.

"While this report shows progress in some areas, trusts know that it is essential we continue to address both structural racism and the racial inequalities faced by doctors in the service, alongside wider efforts to ensure a fair experience for all Black, Asian and ethnic minority staff working in the NHS."

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