NHS Digital have pledged to increase diversity, and ensure that there is the same level of diversity for staff across all levels of their organisation - particularly across senior pay bands - by 2025. It is currently estimated that around one in five NHS employees are from Black, Asian, or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
They are aiming for 19% of their staff to be from BAME groups, 14% to be disabled, and 50% to make up females. They already employ around 3,500 people across England, with their employees presently being 45% female, 13% BAME, and 5% disabled.
The organisation have been behind many of the digital responses to the pandemic, such as setting up the Shielded Patient List, and online booking systems for recording Covid-19 vaccinations.
Simon Bolton, Interim Chief Executive at NHS Digital, said: “Setting workforce representation targets is a symbol of our, and my personal, serious intent to make a difference. It certainly is not a quick fix; however it is a visible and public acknowledgement of our current position and acceptance to be held to account.
“It signals our commitment to work much harder to retain and develop our existing diverse talent and to do things differently to engage and attract colleagues from all backgrounds. This is particularly important in our senior leadership roles where we know we need to do better.
“Having a more diverse workforce is only part of the solution, and we need to work to make NHS Digital a truly inclusive environment. This starts with strong leadership and I am unapologetic in setting these expectations of the leadership community in NHS Digital, my executive team and myself as CEO.
“We are focused on building a workforce that better represents our customers, health and care staff and the communities we serve. We know that this will help us to develop and deliver better products and services, and ultimately enable improved healthcare outcomes.”
NHS Digital are implementing measures to encourage greater diversity and inclusion in the organisation, which will include:
• Understanding and improving the experience of existing staff from under-represented groups;
• Offering positive action development opportunities aimed at under-represented groups;
• Improving internal and external recruitment and selection processes;
• Wider outreach and engagement to promote NHS Digital as an inclusive employer; and
• Focusing on diversity among employees joining NHS Digital as graduates, apprentices and school leavers.
More information on the roles currently available at NHS Digital is available here.