The NHS Equality and Diversity Council announced on July 31 2014 that it had agreed action to ensure employees from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.
The move follows recent reports which have highlighted disparities in the number of BME people in senior leadership positions across the NHS, as well as lower levels of wellbeing amongst the BME population.
The Council pledged its commitment, subject to consultation with the NHS, to implement two measures to improve equality across the NHS, which would start in April 2015.
The first is a Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) that would, for the first time, require organisations employing almost all of the 1.4 million NHS workforce to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low levels of BME Board representation.
As part of the WRES, NHS service providers are required to complete a Reporting Template which is designed to give an overview of the organisation’s most recent implementation. Once completed, the Report Template should be published on the organisation’s website, links to the reports from the services we commission. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are also asked to complete the WRES reporting template, although they are not required to publish this information, due to data protection issues that could arise because of their respective organisation size.
You can find out more information on the Workforce Race Equality Standard, along with the full technical guidance and requirements of CCGs and service providers on NHS England.