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NHS Improvement. Interim NHS people plan. 2019. (accessed 29 July 2019)

Promoting an NHS free of racial bias

08 August 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 15


Black and minority ethnic staff report poorer workplace experiences and are more likely to face disciplinary action. Sam Foster, Chief Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals, looks at proposals to improve workplace equality

I have been interested in improving the culture and behaviours around the area of workforce race equality for some time, so I welcomed receiving a letter from our Chief Nursing Officer for England this month. She wrote to all nurse directors about the issue, highlighting that the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) evidence is showing that, if you are from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background, you are more likely to go through the formal disciplinary process compared with white colleagues in the same organisation. As nurse leaders, we are called to action, to work with our human resource colleagues and to lead the way for nursing and midwifery staff on this important issue—and, in so doing, help ensure a fairer NHS for all.

The letter was accompanied by a guide to support local practices in promoting workforce race equality, focused on closing the ethnicity gap in rates of disciplinary action across the NHS workforce, under the strapline ‘a fair experience for all’.

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