All the NHS’s 1.5m staff in England should tackle discrimination against disadvantaged groups, not just bosses and specialist diversity teams, a major review has concluded.
NHS trusts will need fewer equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) teams if action against discrimination does become “the responsibility of all”, according to the report.
The review of NHS leadership said the health service should adopt a different approach to equality issues in order to overcome the widely recognised disadvantages faced by certain groups of its own staff, which include lower pay and chances of promotion among Black and ethnic minority doctors compared with white medics and low BAME representation in senior managerial ranks.
The inquiry, undertaken by Genl Sir Gordon Messenger and Dame Linda Pollard, was commissioned last year by Sajid Javid, the health secretary.
The report concluded that: “Most critically, we advocate a step-change in the way the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded as the personal responsibility of every leader and every member of staff.
“Although good practice is by no means rare, there is widespread evidence of considerable inequity in experience and opportunity for those with protected characteristics, of which we would call out race and disability as the most starkly disadvantaged.
“The only way to tackle this effectively is to mainstream it as the responsibility of all, to demand from everyone awareness of its realities and to sanction those that don’t meet expectations.”
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Source: The Guardian, 8 June 2022