Sajid Javid’s claim that the number of NHS roles dedicated to promoting equality and diversity should be cut is incorrect and not what the government-commissioned review into NHS management recommended, according to its author.
The review by General Sir Gordon Messenger and Leeds Teaching Hospital chair Dame Linda Pollard was published Wednesday.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday evening, the health secretary said: “In my view, there are already too many working in roles focused solely on diversity and inclusion, and at a time when our constituents are facing real pressures around cost of living, we must spend every penny on patients’ priorities.
“As this report sets out, it should be the responsibility of everyone to encourage fairness and equality of opportunity which is why we must reduce the number of these roles.”
Speaking later to HSJ, Mr Javid was asked if there was any area of NHS management cuts should be made.
He said: “I would like to see fewer managers in terms of diversity managers and things, because I think it should actually be done by all management and all leadership, and not contracted out as some kind of tick-box exercise.”
However, when HSJ spoke to General Messenger he said: “The report does not recommend the reduction of EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) professionals.
“What it does say though, is that if one successfully inculcates equality, diversity and inclusion to every leadership’s responsibilities then that becomes an accepted, instinctive, understood part of being a leader and a manager at every level then the requirement for dedicated EDI professionals should reduce over time."
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Source: HSJ, 8 June 2022