BME staff on the road to inclusion

Edited by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

“The NHS depends on black and minority ethnic staff to provide high quality, reliable and safe care to patients.” (The Guardian, 2018)

The creation of the NHS 70 years ago coincided with the beginning of a wave of immigration from the Commonwealth and colonies. The British Nationality Act of 1948 affirmed unrestricted movement within the Commonwealth. In 1962 Enoch Powell, the then Conservative health minister launched the Hospital Plan – which envisaged the NHS expanding due to a short supply of skilled staff. Because of their value to the Service their contribution was recognised.

Unfortunately, today many BME staff are experiencing a different NHS which is not as successful or rewarding compared to non-BME staff.

The NHS Leadership Academy state that they hold the principles of equality and inclusion at the heart of everything they do and all that they stand for – the NHS is a universal service and are committed to developing a leadership community which is representative of the groups they serve.

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