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Workforce Equality is an issue for everyone and is a route to better care

19 April 2017

The second NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard has been published today (19 April); the first report was published in April 2015.

The report collects data from Trusts for 12 standards to measure equality of opportunity and treatment.

Jane McVey, CNWL’s Director of People and Organisational development, said: “Equality for all staff is a top priority here; no one should feel they are discriminated against because of their back ground and when they do feel like that, we don’t ignore it but work to understand what is happening. Engaging with staff like this sorts issues out but is also good for patient care as the evidence from the CQC shows that more engaged staff deliver better care. So this really is everyone’s business.”

NHS England say:

  • Some organisations have done better than others and we will continue to work with all organisations to instil a culture of equality
  • There are positive change in some indicators
  • WRES is not positive discrimination, but equity for all, as set out in the NHS constitution
  • WRES seeks to better understand why black and minority ethnic employees often receive much poorer treatment than white colleagues in the workplace.

CNWL is one of 15 trusts (6.9%) where there was a greater likelihood of BME staff being appointed from shortlisting compared to white staff.

Organisations were not included in this table unless all of the following conditions applied:

  • Likelihood of white staff being appointed from shortlisting compared to BME staff was below 1.30
  • Percentage of staff believing their trust provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion (Indicator 7) BME responses were 83% or above
  • NHS staff survey response linked to indicator 7 was from a sample that was 50 BME staff or more

Jane McVey said: “Our staff composition at every level from nursing assistants to directors should reflect the population we treat and care for. Although strides have been made, the number of BME staff in the highest grades is not as it should  be.

"Work on this includes a mentoring scheme for BME staff who want to progress into higher management and so far 13 qualified BME staff have been matched with senior manager mentors. We’ve also started ‘Unconscious Bias’ Training  - the Board of Directors was the first - and we’re spreading this training to the next tier of management.

“CNWL want everyone to feel they are treated equally. We convened a review of disciplinary cases that result in dismissal or written warning, comparing BME staff experiences with white staff. We’ve reviewed 12 cases to date with no bias detected.

“We do think more training for managers on how to resolve conflict earlier – before things become formal – would be helpful. We also have our Equalities and Diversity team who  support staff who feel unconscious bias maybe a contributory factor in the workplace.”