Workforce equality: raising the standard

The new NHS mandate on race equality enforces the principles the health service is based on, writes Yvonne Coghill

Abstract

The NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard, which comes into effect this month, will require trusts to show progress against a number of indicators that reflect equality for staff.

I am often asked why I am so passionate about equality and what it is that inspires me. Well, have you ever reflected on the words of the NHS Constitution? The aspirations expressed are incredibly powerful, moving and heartfelt; they mean something.

The first of seven key principles that guide the NHS encapsulates my beliefs and why I am so committed to the equality agenda.

It says: ‘The NHS provides a comprehensive service, available to all irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity or marital or civil partnership status. The service is designed to diagnose, treat and improve both physical and mental health. It has a duty to each and every individual that it serves and must respect their human rights.'

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This article was first published in print in Nursing Standard: volume 29, issue 31.

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