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CQC to support the NHS in tackling race inequality across the workforce

1 August 2014
  • Public

We welcome the NHS Equality and Diversity Council’s plans, announced today, to make sure that employees from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and fair treatment across the NHS workplace.

Subject to public consultation, the council, chaired by NHS England’s Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, has pledged its commitment to implement two new measures to improve equality across the NHS, which would start in April 2015.

The first is a workforce race equality standard. For the first time, this would require organisations (employing almost all of the 1.4 million NHS workforce) to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality. This would include a specific indicator to address the low levels of BME Board representation.

The second is a consultation on whether the Equality Delivery System (EDS2) should also become mandatory. This is a toolkit, currently voluntarily used across the NHS, which aims to help organisations improve the services they provide for their local communities and to provide better working environments for all groups.

As well as this, we, along with Monitor, have agreed to consider looking at how diverse senior management teams are as part of our wider inspections of NHS trusts, and in particular, when we investigate how well-led organisations are.

This is one of the five key questions that we ask of health and adult social care services as part of our new approach to inspection, alongside whether they are safe, effective, caring and responsive to people’s needs.

CQC Chief Executive David Behan said: "Organisations that deliver care and the people who work for them at all levels should properly reflect the diversity of the communities they serve and staff should be free from the fear of discrimination.

"CQC welcomes the introduction of the race equality standard, and will be adopting it ourselves. It is particularly relevant to the one of the questions we ask of services we inspect: are they well-led. Research shows that an organisation can better respond to the needs of people using their service if all staff feel valued and supported – and that the leadership of the organisations reflecting the diversity of their staff is critical in making this happen. This is something that good leaders will recognise and work towards. We will consider using the standard to help assess whether organisations are well-led".

Last updated:
29 May 2017