Humber, Coast and Vale is making good progress in developing the programme of work that will specifically focus on anti-racism, racial justice, and improved representation of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across the health and care system.

Steve Russell, SRO and Executive Sponsor for the HCV Workforce Transformation Programme and Chief Executive of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

A year ago I shared a blog on my views following the tragic death of George Floyd, the wider need to achieve race equality, and the issues of discrimination experienced by many people across society and within the NHS and the wider health and social care sector.

12 months on and I am pleased to say that Humber, Coast and Vale is making good progress in developing the programme of work that will specifically focus on anti-racism, racial justice, and improved representation of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across the health and care system.

Membership of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network of Networks group includes existing Chairs of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Networks, wellbeing coordinators, Heads of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as GPs and Local Authority staff. I am continuing the lead this network, supported by the People Lead Jayne Adamson, and we are in the process of nominating a Deputy Chair to support us to drive forwards the work we have planned.

Following our most recent meeting in May, with meetings now occurring on a bi-monthly basis, we have finalised the priority areas of work we will focus upon in the coming 12 months and which will form our work plan. These are summarised below, and our immediate next steps are round the identification of resource and formation of task and finish groups to take these forward:

  • Grow visibility and profile of the Black, Asian and Minority Network of Networks across the ICS;
  • Engage with our Allies and establishment of the allyship group;
  • Work to increase the diversity of Board Members, Non-Executive Directors and Trustees;
  • Workshops and training around micro-aggressions, anti-racism, white privilege, unconscious biases*;
  • A Fellowship Programme to improve opportunities for staff and increase representation in roles of Band 7 and above;
  • Shared policies, frameworks or collective principles across the ICS relating to zero tolerance to racism and other key priorities such as recruitment and retention of staff;
  • Improving the visibility of real-life staff from minority ethnic backgrounds in branding and communication, to support a culture of role models and mentorship.

We are also taking time to reflect upon the recent Racism in Primary Care survey results, which were coordinated by the Humberside LMC to cover the East Riding, Hull, North and North East Lincolnshire regions. These results made difficult and emotional reading and we will be doing whatever we can to support colleagues and anyone affected by this. There is no place for racism or prejudice in primary care nor any part of the health and social care system, and the Network of Networks will be working closely with the LMC going forwards to support in any way that we can.

We are very much looking forward to continuing to develop this work in the coming months, and will be taking time to share our progress with stakeholders across the various forums, meetings and structures of the health and care system. I am proud to lead this work and if you would like to support us on this journey towards racial equality please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

*glossary of equality and diversity terms

Rebecca Hassack

Author Rebecca Hassack

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