NHS to eliminate ethnicity pay gap

The NHS has pledged to close the wage gape between black and Asian minority ethnic (BAME) NHS workers and their white counterparts

The government has announced a new to goal to eliminate the ethnicity pay gap in the NHS, with BAME representation in senior leadership to match that across the rest of the NHS by 2028.

Recent NHS ethnicity pay analysis revealed ethnicity-based pay gaps; the data shows that senior white NHS managers are paid thousands more than managers from ethnic minority backgrounds. Also, fewer BAME staff reach the most senior levels.

While diversity across the NHS is above the national average – with BAME staff making up 17% of the non-medical NHS workforce – only 11% of senior managers are BAME. This drops to 6.4% at a very senior level.

Due to this, health minister, Stephen Barclay, has set a goal for the NHS to ensure BAME representation at very senior management levels will match that across the rest of the NHS workforce within a decade.

The Department of Health and Social Care is working with NHS Improvement, NHS England and Health Education England to implement the goals for leadership equality.

Barclay said:

“The NHS is a leading light of talent for people from all communities and backgrounds, with diversity levels far in excess of the national average. However, it is unacceptable that this is still not reflected at the very top of the organisation – this kind of inequality has no place in a modern employer and I’m determined to tackle it.

“That’s why I have set an ambitious goal for the NHS to ensure its leadership is as diverse as the rest of the workforce within the next ten years, supporting a culture that allows diversity to thrive at all levels.”

Yvonne Coghill, director of the Workforce Race Equality Standard for NHS England, added:

“Having an NHS workforce that is representative of the population improves patients’ care, safety and overall satisfaction with the health service.

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“The annual Workforce Race Equality Standard is an honest and open analysis which shines a light on where we need to perform better for our staff. Although I’m confident that the NHS in England is moving in the right direction – as shown by the recent increase in senior managers from BAME backgrounds and more NHS trusts having board-level BAME representation – it’s equally clear that we have some way still to go.”

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