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‘Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff will be properly represented at the top of the NHS by 2028’

Health minister says senior managers in the NHS must reflect the diversity of the workforce

Health minister says senior managers in the NHS must reflect the diversity of the workforce


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The NHS is to work towards ensuring proper black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) representation at senior levels by 2028.

Health minister Stephen Barclay has set a goal of senior management matching BAME representation in the rest of the NHS workforce within a decade.

Revealing statistics

BAME staff make up 17% of the non-medical NHS workforce yet only 11% of senior managers are from BAME backgrounds – and the figure drops to 6.4% at a very senior level, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Analysis of nurses’ basic pay, published by NHS Digital last month, showed that BAME nurses and health visitors earn significantly less than their white counterparts.

RCN acting general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said the enormous pay gaps reflected the lack of diversity at senior levels and the figures showed the scale of the challenge to ensure BAME staff are represented at every level of the NHS.

Charter for taking action

A number of the DH’s arm’s-length bodies, including NHS England, Public Health England and Health Education England, have signed up to the Race at Work Charter, set up by the charity Business in the Community.

The charter has five calls to action that include supporting career progression, capturing data and publishing progress.

Mr Barclay said: ‘The NHS has diversity levels far in excess of the national average. It is unacceptable this is still not reflected at the top of the organisation. This kind of inequality has no place in a modern employer and I’m determined to tackle it.’


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