Pace of change must increase to drive out NHS discrimination

Funding and real change needed on racism and the removal of barriers for disabled workers

Responding to the publication of the workforce race equality and disability standards by NHS England, UNISON head of health Helga Pile said today (Tuesday):

“Discrimination is still rife within the NHS. Progress is welcome, but it’s far too slow, especially when the proportion of black health workers is rising.

“Initiatives across the NHS are needed to stop black staff being held back. They are much more likely to be disciplined and face harassment and bullying from patients and colleagues. This has to stop.

“In addition, a quarter of the NHS workforce either has a disability or a long-term condition that affects them in some way. The NHS is getting better at removing barriers that prevent people from working for it, but the pace of progress has to increase.

“The culture of NHS organisations must change and funding found to make that happen.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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