Published on: 19th March 2021
Racism must be acknowledged to be transformed.
We feel the pain, and hear the outrage, of all those facing injustice. And we have a responsibility to speak out and take action.
It is the only way forward to achieve our vision of a happier and more hopeful life for everyone in our communities.
There is no room for neutrality.
Anti-racist means actively identifying and opposing racism. It is rooted in action. It is not enough to be "non-racist."
We must unapologetically and purposefully identify, discuss and challenge racism and the impact it has on our organisation, our systems, and our people.
We need to accept that we have not made as much progress as we should have on all issues related to race. The statistics speak for themselves.
We can, and must, do better.
There is an urgent need to remove bias – both unconscious and otherwise – from our policies and processes, and to rout out bullying, harassment and other unacceptable behaviour.
This is critical if we are to have a diverse and inclusive organisation where everyone feels safe, valued and that they belong.
We are all enriched by our differences.
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognise, accept, and celebrate those differences.
The care of our patients is strengthened through diversity of thought, approach and culture, delivered by staff from rich and different backgrounds.
Empty rhetoric makes no difference.
We are learning about our shortcomings, particularly those which have impacted and continue to impact our Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues, as well as colleagues from underrepresented groups. We are working with our staff networks to ensure that anti-racism considerations are at the forefront of our strategy, our programmes of work, and the staff experience.
We know people want to see actions, not words. We do not claim to have all the answers and we recognise we are on a journey of understanding and learning.
This must be more than just a statement of intent as we drive through a wide range of actions.
- We will advocate loudly for the diverse and marginalised groups in our communities, as it is unacceptable that they continue to experience poorer outcomes.
- We will ensure that our Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients have the same quality of care, as no-one should be disadvantaged because of race or any other form of discrimination.
- We need to improve the patient experience, ensuring that Black and minority ethnic service users and carers feel understood and supported throughout their time and involvement with us.
- We need to improve the experience of Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues as reported in the annual staff survey (continuing professional development, bullying and harassment, career progression).
- We will continue to strengthen the voice of our staff networks, enabling staff groups to influence strategy and actions.
- We need to address areas of under-representation across our workforce, with a particular focus on improving diversity within senior/management roles.
- We want to reduce the gap between Black, Asian and minority ethnic appointments following shortlisting compared to others, as well as reduce the disproportionate impact on Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff likelihood to enter formal disciplinary process.
We must be single minded in our approach and be proud to oppose racism.
North West Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Strategic Advisory Group
Evelyn Asante-Mensah, our chair, is also the co-chair of the North West Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Strategic Advisory Group.
The aim of this group is for the NHS in the North West to be anti-racist, and at the forefront of challenging and tackling racism and health inequalities. Watch this video to find out more: