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This section of the website is for UK healthcare professionals only. If you are not a healthcare professional, please click here.
 

NHS progress on leadership diversity

Letters, The Guardian

Published: 16 July 2019

The NHS Confederation report Chairs and Non-Executive Directors in the NHS did not give a fair picture of what is actually going on in the health service today. It cited figures going back 15 years showing fewer women and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds being appointed to senior executive roles across NHS trusts.

But the report is misleading. The baseline data in it covers a wide range of organisations that existed in 2010, including (now defunct) primary care trusts, strategic health authorities, national health and social care bodies and other government departments. Historical data for these organisations is compared with figures limited to NHS trusts for 2017.

Diverse group of people working around a table

When it comes to race equality, very few people or organisations anywhere in the world can claim they are getting it right. This is one of the reasons why the NHS is taking race equality seriously. It continues to receive high-level support and commitment this is evidenced by the investment in the Workforce Race Equality Standard, which is beginning to show improvement on this agenda.

In 2016, there were 16 NHS trusts in England with three or more black and minority ethnic (BME) board members; by 2018 this had increased to 29. Today, in 2019, we have eight NHS trust chief executives of BME origin, nearly double the number we had four years ago. Data also shows that BME non-executives in London NHS trusts have increased from 19 in 2015 to 50 in 2019.

“We can all agree that the NHS has work to do on all this, but we are not going backwards. In fact, the opposite is true. We are making steady progress on this challenging and complex agenda.” Yvonne Coghill Director, Workforce Race Equality Standard, NHS England

This article was written by Letters from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Minor grammatical and translational editorial changes may have been made to this article by MSD, which has no impact on the content of the article. This is to ensure all articles remain as relevant as possible to UK healthcare professionals.

GB-NON-01234 | Date of Preparation: August 2019

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