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Anti-racist statement

Date: October 2022

The murder of George Floyd on 25 May 2020, affected us all deeply, particularly our Black members of staff. As a Trust we challenged ourselves and reflected on the daunting experiences of Black and other minoritised ethnic groups in society, across the NHS and within our own workforce. So, whilst we disavow all forms of prejudice such as ableism, anti-semitism, classism, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism and transphobia; we have developed this statement as a public commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation.

Currently, staff from Black, Asian and other minoritised ethnic groups within the Trust are:

  • Significantly underrepresented in more secure senior roles (including our Board) and overrepresented in low level precarious roles.
  • More likely to be harassed, bullied or abused by their colleagues compared to White staff.
  • More likely to be discriminated against by their colleagues, team leaders or managers compared to White staff.
  • Less likely to receive equal opportunities for career progression or promotion compared to White staff.

Therefore, we feel the need to challenge ourselves to step outside our individual and institutional privileges and denounce and dismantle all forms of racism. Anti-racism is a radical project, a struggle for justice, freedom and life – we embrace it.

We recognise that the way we recruit, treat and promote our staff needs de-biasing.

We admit that some of our criteria for treatment and care plans are not underpinned by cultural need.

We understand that structural racism is not always obvious or overt, it can be embedded in microaggressions, organisational culture and structures of power and privilege.

So, in line with our mission to fight racism and become a truly anti-racist organisation:

We commit to perpetual learning and reflection at all levels in order to identify actions and tackle structural racism. We commit to ensuring that our Health and Education Services are underpinned by culturally intelligent staff, patient and student-centred approaches.

We are committed to delivering the following actions over the next 12 months:

(a) We will review and improve our recruitment and selection process so that it is transparent and inclusive. This will help us recruit a diverse workforce that represents the communities we serve.

(b) All Board members, Senior Leaders and Managers in the Trust will undergo mandatory inclusive and compassionate leadership training.

(c) Race and other EDI elements will become standard agenda items in all meetings within the Trust.

(d) We will develop a new transparent policy on internal promotions and secondments. This will support the career progression of staff from Black, Asian and UK ethnic minority groups and increase the diversity of the workforce in more senior roles.

(e) We will ensure that all staff undergo Allyship* training. This will promote and foster an inclusive culture in which all staff have a sense of belonging.

(f) Services will be supported to analyse their EDI data and develop appropriate action plans to address highlighted issues.

(g) Inspired by a commitment to drive out any systemic racism, we will consistently seek feedback from staff, patients, service users and students from Black, Asian and UK ethnic minority backgrounds on their experiences.

(h) We are committed to ensuring that all our students feel welcome and are able to fully participate in their programme of study with us.

(i) We are committed to developing a more inclusive and diverse curricula so that our courses better equip students to work with the diverse population we serve.

(j) All our staff networks (including the Race Equality Network) will have an Executive Sponsor who will raise the network’s profile.

Holding ourselves accountable

To hold ourselves accountable to our principles and ten key commitments towards becoming an anti-racist Trust we:

(a) Have established an Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Team, with an EDI Associate Director, EDI Manager, and EDI Champions. The team works with our staff networks (including the Race Equality Staff Network) and the unions and staff side and facilitates a safe space for staff for removing barriers and ensures appropriate support, education and training are available to mitigate any occurrences of discriminatory behaviour.

(b) Are establishing an Inclusion Subcommittee, which will oversee the delivery of our Race Action Plan.

(c) Have established a new People, Organisational Development, and Equality Diversity and Inclusion (POD EDI) Committee that is chaired by a Non-Executive Director who acts as the Board Champion for race equality. The Committee has oversight of the Trust’s EDI agenda and ensures that changes being made improve the lived experiences of all staff, patients, service users and students at the Trust. Reports from the POD EDI Committee form part of our Board agenda.

Also, we will

(a) Review our progress in anti-racism annually and publish it in our annual EDI Report.

(b) Re-invite external race equality experts annually to assess our progress against the Workforce Race Equality Standard, the Race Action Plan and objectives mentioned above.

* Allyship: a newly coined term used in contemporary social justice activism to describe efforts by individuals or groups of people to advocate for or advance the interests of marginalised groups in society or the workplace