NHS Wigan Borough CCG are committed to ending racism in all forms across the NHS and within our community. To us, for our staff groups, this is also a commitment to everyone being treated with dignity and respect at work.
We believe in working with our staff and our local community to understand their concerns and challenges and to collectively overcome them. It is our role to support local NHS organisations to breakdown barriers to access or employment that systemic racism causes, through the clear and consistent application of equality analysis and a commitment to challenging where challenge is required.
Continued staff equality training and engagement is an important part of this and we commit to using resources available to the NHS and also other opportunities, for example, the BBC Bitesize training on white privilege, to ensure our staff have the knowledge.
Our senior leadership team and governing body are diverse and inclusive. We commit to maximising this diversity to encourage staff to speak up on potential and existing barriers and challenges. We are going to use our voices within the organisation to speak up by highlighting issues regularly and tackling head on in our staff messages, issues raised either locally or nationally.
We commit to supporting and promoting the achievement of the NHS England and Improvement three themes of work:
- Minimise the risks posed by Covid-19 to our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues
We are working with local GP colleagues and wider from a variety of backgrounds to encourage staff and patient uptake of the vaccine, including reaching out through those who are local leaders and producing videos in different languages. We are also promoting the British Council of Muslims approval of the vaccine during Ramadan.
We have a comprehensive Equality Impact Assessment and Action Plan for the vaccine programme that covers both staff and patients and are working with colleagues to overcome any impacts.
We will work with GP practices to set up a BAME staff network that covers the CCG and GP practices with a safe space for challenge and identification of barriers.
- Address underlying racism within our structures, which prevents our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues from fulfilling their potential
As a small organisation in an area of a population of over 97% white British population, the racial diversity within our organisation is small, but growing. This is why it is important that we work with partners, including GP practices and trusts, to support our staff to be more diverse and have a voice.
Our staff have told us that we must always consider the needs of our colleagues, for example amending rotas to enable prayer times and when planning our return to the office including creating a dedicated prayer room that makes it easier for those of the Muslim faith to practice in confidence and feel supported. Small changes like this create a visible demonstration of the commitment to dignity at work and have a positive impact on all staff.
Our staff and partners have told us that it is important that we need to be mindful to take a wider view of race outside of faith and that working with community leaders is best way we can get these things right.
Staff and community groups have told us that it is important that we recognise that the barriers are often based on individual negative experiences, which is why staff training and engagement is so vital.
Staff have also told us that it makes a difference when we celebrate different cultures within work, and so we heavily promote Black History Month, Ramadan and other cultural festivals.
We continue to engage with staff on both this and our WRES action plan for this year.
- Tackle the inequalities of access, which mean that our Black, Asian and Minority ethnic communities have poorer health and health outcomes
All services should have an Equality Imapact Assessment with an action plan that demonstrates how they are ensuring equlity of access and overcoming barriers.
Services undergoing change are undertaking Equality Analysis to make sure that the changes help tackle underlying health inequalities. Where changes were made due to COVID, any change that is proposed to stay will also need to have EA undertaken and the service updated accordingly. To undertake the EA, we are committed to a programme of engagement with staff and community groups so that no one speaks on behalf of the community, and that no assumptions are made.
This work cannot be done in isolation by the CCG and must be a partnership effort, and we commit to making it a visible and real priority within the Healthier Wigan Partnership.
We commit to ensuring a culture of openness that welcomes diversity and inclusion and celebrates the positive impact it can create.