The NHS workforce is one of the most diverse in the world. It is vital that our colleagues throughout the service feel supported in their jobs and are able to carry out their roles in an environment where they feel safe and valued.
Respect and dignity, compassion, improving lives and ensuring that everyone counts are core values at the heart of the NHS Constitution.
The data emerging about the experiences of staff from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds in respect of COVID-19, as identified in the Public Health England review reinforces what we already know about the poorer experience of BME colleagues in every part of the NHS. The government has also published a statement about the next steps they intend to take in response to this report.
Through the work of the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) since 2015, all NHS organisations have been required to demonstrate how they are addressing race equality through the WRES by reporting annually and monitoring the different experiences of BME and white staff, in order to identify differences and/or gaps.
NHS Employers is committed to supporting the NHS and health and social care with these challenges and we have highlighted the following resources which can be used to help aid conversations and to implement change.
- Workforce Race Equality Standard – further information on the standard which is managed by NHS England and NHS Improvement.
- Guidance on setting up staff networks - staff networks can be a vital source of peer support and help especially during times of anxiety.
- Diversity in the NHS - an infographic which shows the breakdown of ethnicity in the current NHS workforce with a comparison to the national average of England’s working population.
- The NHS Health and Race Observatory - hosted by the NHS Confederation, this new initiative will identify and tackle the specific health challenges facing people from BME background.
- NHS Employers diversity and inclusion partners programme - information on the programme which helps organisations take an intersectional approach to equality and improve staff experience.
- BME leadership network – led by the NHS Confederation, this network aims to improve and sustain the number of BME leaders working in the NHS.
- Equality, diversity and inclusion at the time of crisis and beyond - a blog by NHS chief executives Sam Allen, Dr Navina Evans and Dr Rob Webster.
- In the fight against COVID-19, the diversity of the NHS is our strength - a blog by Joan Saddler and Wayne Farah.
- Why is COVID-19 having a disproportionate effect on our BME colleagues and communities? - a blog by Danny Mortimer.
Should you require any further information or support please contact the NHS Employers diversity and inclusion team at firstname.lastname@example.org.