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Action needed on NHS discrimination says RCM on NHS England report

19 April, 2017

Action needed on NHS discrimination says RCM on NHS England report

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Today, NHS England has published its Workforce Race Equality Standard 2016 report. The report finds that staff from a BME (black and minority ethnic) background are still significantly more likely to experience discrimination at work from colleagues and their managers.

Amy Leversidge, Employment Relations Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “Whilst this report is welcome and some progress has been made, it paints a worrying and disappointing picture of the levels of discrimination in our NHS. All the evidence shows that BME midwives, maternity support workers and other NHS staff in the NHS being treated less fairly than their white colleagues.

“There is clearly discrimination in the NHS towards BME staff and action is needed to tackle this. The RCM has been working hard to raise awareness of this issue, to seek solutions and to eradicate discrimination in the NHS.* This report shows that employers in particular have a lot of work to do  to ensure that BME staff are treated fairly in the workplace.”

The NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard report can be viewed at https://www.england.nhs.uk/2017/04/report-sets-out-progress-on-race-equality-standards-for-all-nhs-trusts-in-england/.

* The RCM very recently presented a motion to the TUC Black Workers’ Conference on bullying and discrimination of BME staff in the NHS. See the press release at https://www.rcm.org.uk/news-views-and-analysis/news/rcm-highlights-bullying-of-bme-nhs-staff-at-tuc-black-workers. The RCM has also published ‘BME Midwives, Disciplinary Proceedings and the Workplace Race Equality Standard published in 2016 at https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/Equality%20and%20Diversity%20Publication%20-%20BME%20Midwives%20and%20Race%20Equality%20Standard%20A5%2028pp_Spread.pdf and Royal College of Midwives Freedom of Information Request: Midwives and Disciplinary Proceedings in London published in  2012 is at https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/RCM%20Research%20Report%20Freedom%20of%20Information%20Request%20-%20BME%20Midwives%20and%20Disciplinary%20Proceedings.pdf. Last year the RCM held a seminar on these issues at the TUC.

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.


Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.

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