Can Do Health & Care - NHS Uncomfortable Truths Report

Part 1: WHY as system leaders we need to address culture to improve outcomes | 21 Tracey Williams-Macklin, Director of Practice Partnerships, University of Essex: We have seen larger numbers of ethnic minority students being referred to fitness to practice, and the majority of those come from practice placements. We also have a widening gap in attainment between white and ethnic minority students. I want to invite the system to think about that early career experience and to think creatively about what experiences we offer students, including non-traditional placements in the community. Daniel Spooner, Deputy Chief Nurse, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust: 53% of our nurses at Band 5 are from ethnic minority background, that reduces to 5% at Band 7, and 2% at Band 8 and above. There have been so many programmes in the past about lifting up ethnic minority staff, giving them opportunities to understand where they fit in leadership roles, but the people recruiting them need more education. “The term unconscious bias is used in our vernacular all the time now but white privilege isn’t, and it should be… It’s about understanding the experiences of BAME staff to understand your own biases... Now I have had my eyes opened to that I am seeing it regularly.” Godwin Daudu, Engagement Officer, Community 360: What we are talking about today is change, and change is always uncomfortable. Truth makes us uncomfortable too. When an organisation presents itself, it tells its mindset. “If we have a situation where we have become comfortable with the fact that being black, brown and female isn’t good enough for leadership, that represents the mindset of the organisation, and that needs to change.” This is a huge opportunity for us to be blunt, blunt in the faces of the people that make the changes and make the policies. One of the reasons I joined the voluntary sector was that I was tired of standing on the terraces throwing stones at the players on the field of play. I want to be on the field of play and tussle with the players so that we can bring about the change that we need. We should no longer accept being comfortable. Cath Byford, Deputy Chief Executive, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust: In mental health we have normalised abuse towards our staff, whether its racist abuse, gender-based, physical and verbal violence. Why would someone report an incident if we don’t act as a result? We ought to consider where we can opportunities for convictions for physical and verbal abuse, so that people have support and feel safe to report, and comfortable that they will be believed and it will be acted upon. “Some of our colleagues in all sectors are talked down to and minimised because they don’t have the right accent or the right academic qualifications. They feel less valued and that what they bring doesn’t have the same level of meaning… We contribute to the perpetuation of that and it’s not fair.”

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