Call for crackdown on discrimination against BME staff in NHS

More black or minority ethnic staff report being bullied by colleagues than white counterparts

More black or minority ethnic staff in the NHS are harassed, bullied or abused by colleagues than white counterparts, a report reveals.

NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) data analysis examined the experience of BME and white staff across the NHS in England in 2015.

In total, 75% of all acute trusts reported a higher percentage of BME staff being harassed, bullied or abused by fellow staff.

In 86% of acute trusts, a higher percentage of BME staff did not believe their employer offered equal opportunities for career progression.

BME mental health staff were more likely than white staff to experience the public's abuse too. More than 80% of mental health and learning disability trusts said higher percentages of BME staff were subject to harassment, bullying or abuse from patients and public.

Action is needed

NHS England WRES implementation programme director Yvonne Coghill said: ‘This seminal report illustrates the difference in experience between BME and white staff in the NHS. We hope it will encourage organisations to acknowledge the experiences of their BME staff and work towards making our NHS a fairer, more equitable organisation.’

This first WRES report, published today by the NHS Equality and Diversity Council, looked at four indicators across acute, community, mental health, learning disability and ambulance trusts. The results showed variation across the health service.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: ‘While some employers have got it right, for many others these survey results are a clear call to action.’

The report also found BME staff are more likely than white colleagues to report discrimination at work from a manager or team leader, regardless of trust type or where it is.

Further information

The NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)