On 30 May 2020, NHS England and the NHS Confederation launched the NHS Race and Health Observatory, a new centre to investigate the impact of race and ethnicity on people’s health and to identify and tackle the specific health challenges facing people of black and ethnic minority origin.
What will the Observatory aim to do? It will seek to achieve not only equality of access to services, but equal health outcomes irrespective of race. While discussions as to its functions and structure have only just begun, the Observatory’s aims are clear, and build on lessons of successes and failure from the past. It will
- provide a unified source of policy relevant evidence and information which would explain how and why racial disparities in health occur. While the evidence would be principally aimed at enhancing the knowledge and understanding of healthcare leaders, its outputs are intended to be publicly accessible.
- target outcomes, by translating the research into practical guidance, so that new and existing policy and programmes are renewed, designed and delivered to reduce disparities and
- begin with reviewing the impact of policy practice and programmes on the health and wellbeing of the ethnic minority health workforce, in collaboration with NHS England’s Workforce Race Equality Strategy. Eliminating the adverse outcomes of racism and discrimination in the NHS’s own workforce is not optional, if the Observatory is to be a credible authority in race equality into the future.