RCM calls out lack of BME leadership in the NHS

The lack of BME leadership across the NHS is the focus of an RCM motion at the TUC’s Black Workers’ Conference.

BME staff make up 18% of the overall NHS workforce, but only 7% of all hold senior manager positions.

In London these figures are even starker, 40% of London’s population is from a BME background, 43% of the NHS workforce is, but only 14% of board level positions are held by people from a BME background.

RCM employment relations adviser Alice Sorby said: “For an NHS which truly treats all service users with respect, dignity and compassion we need an inclusive, diverse leadership and engaged workforce.

“In 2015 we saw the introduction of the Workforce Race Equality Standard aimed at addressing the lack of BME staff in senior leadership positions and since its introduction there have been some improvements, but there is still a lot more to do.

“We also know there is a clear link between the levels of discrimination staff experience and the levels of confidence and trust patients have in staff.

“We need open, frank conversations about discrimination in the NHS, we need to listen to staff at all levels, and we need leaders that reflect the diversity of staff and the wider population they care for. Without this we can’t hope to provide a truly inclusive service that treat service users with dignity, respect and compassion.”

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