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NHS ‘still has much to do’ to improve racial equality, says Stevens

NHS ‘still has much to do’ to improve racial equality, says Stevens

Simon Stevens has said the NHS still has more work to do to improve equality standards according to the latest Workplace Race Equality Standard
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Simon Stevens has said the NHS still has more work to do to improve equality standards according to the latest Workplace Race Equality Standard.

The report found that BME staff remain significantly more likely to experience discrimination at work from colleagues and their managers.

However, the percentage of BME staff reporting in the last 12 months that they have personally experienced discrimination at work from staff fell from 15% in 2014 to 14% in 2015.

Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said while there were ‘early signs of progress … no one should yet be comfortable or satisfied with what these figures show overall’.

He added that ‘many employers still have much to do before the NHS can declare mission accomplished on this critical agenda’.

The report also found that white shortlisted job applicants are 1.57 times more likely to be appointed from shortlisting than BME shortlisted applicants.

Meanwhile, the proportion of very senior managers from BME backgrounds increased by 4.4% from 2015 to 2016 but representation at board level remains significantly lower than BME representation in the overall NHS workforce.

Saffron Cordery, the director of strategy and policy at NHS Providers, said this was an area that the NHS ‘needs to continue to make progress in’.

She said: ‘Diversity in the workforce is not only a moral obligation, but also leads to better productivity, better staff morale and in turn better care for patients and the public.

‘This report will help to ensure that race equality and diversity remain a key part of addressing the wider challenges faced by the NHS.’

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