Further committing to its ambition to be an anti-discriminatory organisation, NHS Providers have published an anti-racism statement detailing what they are aiming to do in the fight against racial discrimination and how they intend to do it.
The statement was developed and supported by NHS Providers’ staff and contains five key commitments:
- NHS Providers will recognise that structural racism exists and is harmful
- NHS Providers will acknowledge the impact of racism and will support ethnic minority staff
- NHS Providers will act to redress racism and call out discrimination
- NHS Providers will be transparent and accountable, and will measure its progress
- NHS Providers will use its unique position to influence the NHS and the wider community
Ultimately, the statement will sit alongside NHS Providers’ organisational values and action plan for improvement on race equality – NHS Providers also expect the statement to be updated over time, reflecting the organisation’s commitment to staying with the times and narrowing health inequalities in both the short term and long term.
Announcing the publication of the anti-racism statement at the organisation’s annual conference, NHS Providers’ interim chief executive, Saffron Cordery, said: "We have stepped up our work on anti-racism since the summer of 2020, following the murder of George Floyd, and the renewed sense of injustice that followed, combined with the racial health disparities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"These events put race equality on the agenda of NHS boards as never before. They also prompted us to reflect on how racism affects us as an organisation, our staff and our members, and to consider how we can better lead by example.
"We know that we will benefit as an organisation and our work will improve if we build a more diverse leadership team and create an open culture in which we celebrate diverse perspectives in everything that we do.
"We know we should have started this process sooner, and we still have a lot to learn. But the anti-racism statement, action plan and programme of support for trust boards provide evidence of progress, and a determination to follow through on this key issue.
"We recognise too the importance of all protected characteristics when considering equality, diversity and inclusion issues. However the evidence on racial inequities in the NHS, for example on recruitment, disciplinary procedures, bullying, and representation at senior level, demands immediate and decisive action.
"Trust leaders also know the importance for recruitment and retention of investing in and supporting a diverse workforce, and that improving the staff experience will lead to a better experience and outcomes for patients.
"We have a unique opportunity at NHS Providers, working with members, to support the development of a truly anti-racist NHS. It is an opportunity we are determined to take."
To access NHS Providers’ full anti-racism statement, click here.