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Union launches toolkit and training to tackle racism in the NHS

Step-by-step guide published to promote equality across the health service
union

Health union Unite has launched a toolkit with a step-by-step approach to tackling workplace race discrimination, and is offering training to NHS staff and managers.

The union wants to combat the scourge of racism that often blights the prospects of black and ethnic minority (BME) workers in the health service.

A recent Unite snapshot survey of its BME members revealed racial harassment, bullying and race discrimination in the job market.

From 2015, the Workplace Race Equality Standard (WRES) requires all NHS organisations in England to demonstrate their progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality.

Toxic climate

The Unite toolkit, Race Ahead in Health, sets out steps to close the BME employment gap which include:

  • Tackling the pay gap for BME colleagues.
  • Fighting for equality of opportunity in progression and promotion, learning and development.
  • Dealing effectively with racial

Health union Unite has launched a toolkit with a step-by-step approach to tackling workplace race discrimination, and is offering training to NHS staff and managers.

The union wants to combat ‘the scourge of racism’ that often blights the prospects of black and ethnic minority (BME) workers in the health service.

A recent Unite snapshot survey of its BME members revealed racial harassment, bullying and race discrimination in the job market.

From 2015, the Workplace Race Equality Standard (WRES) requires all NHS organisations in England to demonstrate their progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality.

Toxic climate 

The Unite toolkit, Race Ahead in Health, sets out steps to close the BME employment gap which include:

  • Tackling the pay gap for BME colleagues.
  • Fighting for equality of opportunity in progression and promotion, learning and development.
  • Dealing effectively with racial harassment, discrimination and bullying.
  • Promoting fairness for BME women at work.
  • Encouraging BME staff to join a union.

The RCN recently responded to a review calling for evidence on the issues faced by businesses in developing BME talent by warning that there had been a negative and toxic climate about race equality in the NHS.

The college called for an end to short term initiatives, and urged the government to develop a coherent and long term race equality strategy.

Improvement in care 

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: ‘We are launching the toolkit and training to assist NHS staff and managers to ensure that this issue is always on the agenda and allows no room for complacency.’

Unite national officer for health Sarah Carpenter added: ‘Academic studies have proved that when staff feel they are being discriminated against and bullied, they provide worse patient care.

‘This initiative to end discrimination and eliminate unfair treatment of BME NHS staff will lead to improved levels of patient care, so we can all benefit.’


Further information

Race Ahead in Health: Tackling Race Discrimination in the Workplace

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