latest health care news

17.01.19

NHS must tackle ‘systemic racism’ as report shows staff discrimination on the rise

The NHS has been urged to tackle its “systemic racism” as new figures reveal that black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds remain “grossly underrepresented” and discrimination is on the rise.

The number of BME staff who reported experiencing discrimination in the last 12 months has risen to 15% according to data published by NHS England in a new workforce race quality standard report.

Reports of discrimination have increased from 13.6% in 2015, whilst in contrast 6% of white colleagues flagged up discrimination, and BME staff were found to be 1.24 times more likely to enter the formal disciplinary process compared to white staff, despite year-on-year improvements.

NHS England reported that whilst BME staff represent nearly a fifth of the NHS’s entire workforce, the number in top positions are proportionally much lower with 6.9% of very senior managers were found to be BME staff.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) called the rise in reported discrimination towards BME staff “truly appalling” and called for redoubled efforts to increase the number of BME leaders within the NHS.

Acting chief executive of the RCN Dame Donna Kinnair stated: “It is a disgrace that BME staff experience racism, lower pay, harassment and limited career progression within our health service.

“It is up to employers and policymakers, working with trade unions and other organisations, to put an end to this once and for all.

“NHS trusts need to engage their staff and bring them into the process of resolving issues of discrimination and systemic racism in their workplaces.”

She added: “A good start would be ensuring there are more BME voices at the top of the profession, yet despite modest gains highlighted since last year, minority voices remain grossly underrepresented in senior management positions.

“The government cannot hope to increase staffing levels without the NHS embracing diversity at every level and extinguishing the damaging effects of racism on our health service.”

Across the NHS’s 231 trusts in England, there were just eight BME executive directors of nursing although the net number of executive BME board members had increased by 11.

NHS England did report a sustained increase in black and minority nurses, health visitors and midwives and continuous improvement for many organisations across a range of indicators, but accepted that “much more work is still needed.”

Image credit - sturti

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

07/12/2019Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

Mike Farrar Chairperson of Swim England Would you talk us through... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Too much emphasis on leadership development… and not enough

24/02/2020Too much emphasis on leadership development… and not enough

Words by Dean Royles and Kevan Taylor, who continue their regular contribution to NHE’s blog content. Kevan and Dean work in organisations and systems providing strategi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >