UNISON will continue to strengthen the Race for Equality campaign

‘Racism exists in the NHS’ – a report shows, for instance, 63% of Black workers feel they’re subjected to greater scrutiny than white colleagues

View from the back of the conference hall down to the platform and stage set during the debates on racism in the NHS

In a motion on equipping branches to tackle race discrimination in the NHS, the health service group executive stressed that UNISON is continuing to strengthen its Race for Equality campaign that was a centrepiece to the union’s Year of Black Workers in 2023.

Maria Alberts for the service group executive told delegates: “Racism does exist in the NHS”.

She cited Too Hot to Handle, a report that “shines a light” on the lack of safe and effective means to report and then tackle problems, with, for instance, 63% of Black workers surveyed saying that they were subjected to greater scrutiny than white colleagues.

Delegates called on the executive to carry out a number of actions, including:

  • continuing to resource and run the Race for Equality campaign to challenge racism in the NHS
  • running practical workshops addressing the issues facing Black staff in the health service
  • developing and providing additional training opportunities for branches and regions.

In separate motions, delegates also backed moves to continue to increase the participation of Black members in the sector, and to “tackling racism in the nursing family”.

As one speaker called on delegates: “Be an ally. Call it [racism] out … Be our voices in the rooms we are not in.”

Delegates passed all motions unanimously.