The NHS takes mandatory action to ensure race equality for the BME workforce

From April 2015 the NHS Equality and Diversity Council has implemented a Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) which requires employers to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low levels of BME Board representation.

The Standard takes a small number of indicators and requires NHS organisations to close the gap between the BME and white staff reported experience for those indicators. At the end of the first year (1st April 2016) the progress on the metrics will be shared with commissioners and published. The data will then allow organisations to benchmark, track and make plans to improve their progress. The indicators are summarised below:

1. Percentage of BME staff in bands 8-9 compared with the percentage of BME staff in the overall workforce
2. Relative likelihood of BME staff being appointed from shortlisting compared to White staff across all positions
3. Relative likelihood of BME staff entering formal disciplinary process compared to White staff
4. Relative likelihood of BME staff accessing non mandatory training and CPD as compared to White staff
5. Percentage of staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from patients in the last 12 months
6. Percentage of staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from staff in the last 12 months
7. Percentage believing that trust provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion
8. Personal experience of discrimination at work in the last 12 months from a manager or colleagues

For guidance on preparing to assess these metrics readers are encouraged to go to the detailed guidance in the NHS England document entitled ‘Frequently Asked Questions on the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) published in March 2015 and available on the NHS England website at

Sharon Gregory

Movement to Work, a collaboration of UK employers that aims to tackle youth unemployment
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