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10.06.20

London NHS Covid-19 race equality programme announced

Yvonne Coghill, NHS England’s Director of Workforce Race Equality, is set to lead a rapid programme of work aimed at supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff across London in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

With a focus on the capital, which has the largest workforce diversity, Ms Coghill and her team will look to support NHS employers to make further positive changes for their staff.

The NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) programme was established to understand the experience of people from BAME backgrounds working in the NHS and make practical improvements on key issues including recruitment, development and disciplinary processes.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the NHS nationally has taken further action to support BAME staff as evidence shows people from these backgrounds are at greater risk of harm.

All local NHS employers are expected to undertake risk assessments of the working environments, patterns and responsibilities of their BAME staff and make changes to staffing to protect those at risk, with Ms Coghill’s new programme of work set to help local services make changes, informed by learning from the WRES programme.

In her place, Ms Coghill will be replaced by Habib Naqvi, Deputy Director of the WRES programme, until autumn, when a permanent appointment will be made.

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In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the NHS nationally has taken further action to support BAME staff as evidence shows people from these backgrounds are at greater risk of harm
 

Yvonne Coghill, outgoing Director of the NHS England WRES programme, said: “The WRES programme has already made important, significant progress in making the NHS a better place to work, regardless of your race or ethnicity, but everyone recognises that we have a long way to go.

“COVID-19 has injected even greater urgency into the work we are doing to support staff from BAME backgrounds, and over the coming months I’ll be working closely

“I’d like to thank my team and everyone across the NHS for their continued work to make the NHS a fairer and more equal employer and I’m proud that WRES has driven change in recent years and will no doubt continue to make a positive impact into the future.”

Habib Naqvi, Interim Director of the NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard programme, added: “I’m extremely proud to have the chance to lead the WRES programme, especially at such a vital time for the NHS, our country, and BAME communities in particular.

“The NHS in England has led the world with this programme, and I’m determined that we’ll continue to hold up a mirror to the NHS as a place to work, as all the evidence shows that treating staff fairly and well is not only good for them, but better for the patients they are serving.

“I’d like to thank Yvonne for her inspirational leadership and dedicated commitment to workforce race equality.”

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