NHS seeks ethnic diversity within management

Multicultural doctors

Trusts could face regulatory action if no ethnic minorities in senior spots

NHS organisations will be forced to increase black and ethnic minority representation in senior positions or face contractual or regulatory consequences.

NHS England will be introducing the recent regulation with a new national workforce race equality standard on the health service through the NHS standard contract from April next year. The new rules will also apply to CCG’s and NHS England itself, with the CQC, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority making it apparent to providers that compliance to the new standards will be considered in future assessments.

Equality measure forced

The proposal, agreed by the NHS Equality and Diversity Council, will mean employers will need to demonstrate improvements across a range of metrics, including specific indicators to address low levels of representation on trust boards of black and minority ethnic staff. Trusts will also be judged on answers to diversity questions on NHS staff surveys.

The proposal document read “NHS boards should be engaged and supported to make continual improvements and allowed time to make the necessary change, with the clear expectation that failure to make progress will result in contractual / regulatory action.”

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has reiterated this point, saying “We want an NHS ‘of the people, by the people, for the people.'”