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NHS trusts show commitment to inclusion

Tagged In:  NHS

Five of our NHS trust clients have joined major brands such as British Airways, PwC and Sky in the definitive 2016 list of Inclusive Top 50 Employers.

The Inclusive Top 50 list recognises employers who are demonstrating a real commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and have provided evidence across a variety of topics, including recruitment procedures and training. We were delighted to hear that five of the six NHS trusts on this year's list were those we recruit on behalf of, including University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay, Leeds and York Partnership, Central Manchester University Hospitals, and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership.

The presence in the list of the six trusts, which collectively employ over 36,000 people, is good news for NHS England's EDI strategy.  In 2015 the highly respected Kings Fund reported high levels of discrimination against black, minority and ethnic (BME) and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff, as well as those with disabilities and members of religious groups.

"Health care depends on people — nurses, porters, consultants and receptionists, scientists and therapists and many others," says the NHS Five Year Forward View. It goes on to talk about the importance of the NHS becoming a better employer by 'providing safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory opportunities'.

In July 2014, the NHS Equality and Diversity Council announced that it had agreed action to ensure employees from BME backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace. NHS England is also committed to achieving the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES).

Overall the NHS has an amazingly diverse workforce with over 40% of doctors and 20% of nurses, health visitors and midwives from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. However, one of the main challenges is ensuring equal opportunities for career advancement. The percentage of BAME staff is much lower in advanced practitioner and leadership roles.

Paul Sesay, Chief Executive of the Inclusive Top 50, believes that organisations on the list can act as role models for others. "It is crucial to highlight best practices in workforce diversity," he commented. "There is a need to promote these practices and the organisations carrying out pioneering work in this arena to set an example to other employers across the UK."

Morecambe Bay NHS Trust's inclusion and diversity team was also named Inclusive Team of the Year by NHS Employers in May this year. "The team has worked incredibly hard over the last year to help our trust shift our culture with regards to inclusivity," explained Karmini McCann, the Trust's Inclusion and Diversity Lead, "and whilst we still have a lot of work to do, their work has made a huge difference already."

NHS Employers has a section of its website dedicated to diversity and inclusion which has a range of useful information and resources. Access it here.
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