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Workforce Race Equality Standard

What is the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)?

NHS England have launched the WRES to address discrimination and lack of opportunity for staff in BME groups. The WRES is a standard comprising 9 indicators which all NHS Trusts need to assess themselves against. This is on the basis that NHSE have determined a link through staff and patient surveys between the treatment experienced by BME staff and patient experience.

Why has WRES been introduced by NHSE?

One in five nurses, more than one in three doctors and one in six of all NHS staff are from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds. Analysis of NHS workforce and NHS staff survey data across England shows that:

White shortlisted job applicants are, on average, much more likely (1.74 times more likely) to be appointed than are Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) shortlisted applicants. In our Trust white staff are 1.7 times more likely to be appointed than BME staff

The proportion of NHS board members and senior managers who are BME is significantly smaller than the proportion of the NHS workforce or local communities that are from BME backgrounds. In our Trust this is we currently have 0% Board members from BME backgrounds. This could be addressed through our pending Board recruitment

BME NHS staff members are much more likely to be disciplined than White staff members. In our Trust this does not appear to be the case as we have 0.56% BME staff and 0.53% White staff entering formal disciplinary processes. Last year BME staff were less likely than white staff to enter disciplinary proceedings.

NHS staff survey data shows that BME staff are more likely than White staff to experience harassment, bullying or abuse from other staff (but not from patients, relatives of the public); are more likely to experience discrimination at work from colleagues and their managers; and are much less likely to believe that the trust provides equal opportunities for career progression. In our Trust this we have 22% of BME staff and 33% of white staff saying that have experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from staff. However, we have a deteriorating position with regards to BME staff who say that they Trust provides equal opportunities for career progression which is now 67% compared to 93% of white staff.

Patients have better experience in NHS organisations where workforce race equality is good.

The case for organisations tackling workforce race discrimination is therefore not just about the treatment of BME staff but is crucially about the care of all patients irrespective of ethnicity. The best Boards and system leaders already understand and act on this powerful evidence.

What does the Trust need to do?

All Trusts are required to complete a baseline assessment against 9 indicator standards from July 2015. Our Trust’s baseline template was approved at the Workforce Assurance Group prior to submission to the Coordinating CCG and then published on the Trust website. A copy of the template is available below:

pdf Workforce Race Equality Standard - November 2015 (402 KB)

Trusts will be required to publish an annual report against the WRES as part of CCG assurance frameworks for 2015/16, the NHS standard contract and the CQC inspection regime. The first annual report is due in May 2016.