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Race equality in the NHS workforce

Event information

START DATE 10 April 2017
START TIME 03:00pm

Town Hall, Committee Room 2, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

END DATE 10 April 2017
END TIME 07:00pm

A seminar on race equality in the NHS workforce with health and social care professionals

This seminar seeks to:
1. Define the key elements which have given the Workforce Race Equality (WRES) impetus and traction in its implementation so far both at the national and local Trust level
2. Define current issues of interest and concern in terms of evidenced corrective action taken at local Trust level as a result of the implementation of the WRES
3. Explore the implications of the above for the implementation of the WDES in April 2018.

Chair of seminar: Professor Carmel Clancy, Head of Department for Mental Health Social Work and Integrative Medicine at Middlesex University.

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council (EDC) announced in July 2014 that it had agreed to implement a standard of Workforce Race Equality (WRES), with a view to ensuring that people from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds had equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace. This would be benchmarked on an annual basis across a number of indicators of workforce equality.

The initiative to establish this was closely linked to the publication of an influential report, ‘Snowy White Peaks of the NHS: a survey of discrimination in governance and leadership and the potential impact on patient care in London and England’ (Kline, 2014, Middlesex University).

This report found that senior under-representation of BME people in senior positions in the NHS with no sign of improvement. This led to the development of a national level change management strategy, driven by accountability primarily from a new mandatory clause within the NHS standard contract, inclusion in the CQC inspection’s “well led” domain and transparency. The WRES was included in the NHS standard contract from 2015/16 onwards.

The first national NHS annual report of the Workforce Race Equality Standard was published in June 2016 and found that regardless of the type of Trust or of geographic location, compared to white staff, higher proportions of BME staff reported that they:

  • Experienced bullying, harassment or abuse
  • Believed that their Trust provided equal opportunities for career progression or promotion
  • Experienced discrimination at work from a manager, team leader or other colleague NHS England went on in 2015 to commission research to explore a similar set of equality issues with respect to disabled staff in the NHS.

    The Middlesex and Bedfordshire report  came to very similar conclusions to the above, with respect to disabled staff in the NHS.

    This research, conducted in 2016 by Middlesex and Bedfordshire Universities, led to the recommendation for the implementation of an equivalent standard for disabled staff in the NHS (WDES). The WDES is due for implementation within the NHS contract in April 2018.


2.30pm – 3.00pm Registration & refreshments

3.00pm – 3.20pm Welcome to the seminar: Carmel Clancy, Head of Department Middlesex University
Aims and Purpose: Peter Ryan, Professor of Mental Health at Middlesex University.

3.20pm- 3.50pm Gaining traction for the WRES: key learnings: Roger Kline, Joint Director Workforce Race Equality Standard Implementation team.

3.50pm – 4.15pm Key issues in local implementation of the WRES: Joy Warmington Chief Executive BRAP and Good practice lead, NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard

4.15pm – 5.00pm Translating lessons to the WDES: Ruth Passman Head of Equality and Health Inequalities/NHS England And Bernd Sass Disability Rights UK

5.00pm-545pm Open discussion and comments facilitated by: Christine Rivers Head of Equality and Human Rights, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust

5.45pm Tea & coffee

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