Since 2015 all NHS organisations have been required to demonstrate how they are addressing race equality issues in a range of staffing areas through the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES).
NHS Employers works closely with NHS England, the Equality and Diversity Council and employers to ensure that the metrics and the associated guidance are clear and comprehensive and that trusts understand their duties under the WRES.
Paul Deemer, head of diversity and inclusion at NHS Employers, hopes that the WRES will, over time, lead to a step change in this area: "Those of us working in the field of diversity know how difficult it is to bring change in the area of race equality. We only have to look at the challenges that still face the police service nearly 20 years since the Macpherson Inquiry. But the one thing we know from our experiences in all areas of diversity is that change will happen quickest and most effectively where there is strong, visible and clear leadership. The NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard is built on and underpinned by strong, visible and clear leadership. Coupled with the Equality Delivery System, all NHS organisations now have a good, transparent governance and accountability structure to build their work in this area upon. We will continue to support NHS organisations to implement these two elements and look forward to ongoing progress."
Full details of the metric and the associated guidance and FAQs can be found on the NHS England website.
WRES 2018 Data Analysis Report for NHS Trusts
An independent assessment 2018 Data Analysis Report for NHS Trusts published on 16 January 2019, highlights the experience of black and minority ethnic (BME) people working in the NHS. It shows that while there has been a year on year improvement in BME representation in the most senior NHS roles (including at board level) and an increase in recruitment from these backgrounds, the health service needs progress in a number of areas. Read the NHS England news article NHS commits to long-term support for race equality to learn more.