Race Equality in the NHS- ‘a marriage of true minds’

Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo

The interior of the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, pays tribute to all the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The new ‘ civil partnership’ between Race for Health and the Afiya Trust has just been launched- March 16th, pooling the efforts of two to keep the issue of race equality in healthcare in the agenda at a very challenging time.

Gideon Ben Tovim, Chair of both Race for Health and the Merseyside PCT Cluster, spoke passionately about the Public Sector Duty and other levers could be used in the new, complex world that makes up the healthcare system; but who would pull those levers?

Patrick Vernon, CE of Afyia outlined how the Trust had effectively used Freedom of Information requests to produce ‘Living at the Margins, a report on the impact of cuts in social care budgets on BME communities’. They will be looking to ensure that JSNA’s and Health Watch properly assess the impact on BME service users.

Prof. Helen Hally outlined how the Race for Health’s programme had consistently worked to increase health professionals’ awareness of the relevance of race equality to health outcomes, and build leadership capacity, generating an evidence base through peer challenge, coaching, collating best practice and collaborative problem solving.

Solo Afuape, Afiya’s Chair stated how the two organisations had come together because their shared values and commitment for Race Equality and a passion for making a difference and the shared use of evidence based practice. I certainly came away from the event thinking that the new partnership could be a ‘ marriage of true minds’ and that the combination of skills and contacts both inside the system and in communities has the potential to be very powerful. Many BME professionals, at both Executive and Non Executive levels have lost their posts in the recent reorganisation and the need for a strong voice is more important than ever. Those committed to working to make a difference will have to take heed of Helen Hally’s motto from the world of curling:

‘You do not pay the stones you ask for, you play the stones you get’

Good Engagement Practice in the NHS

Maqsood Ahmad, the Director of the NHS Equality Delivery System has been singing the praises of this guidance, which I worked on with Shared Intelligence and Race for Health Colleagues:

Find the document here

The report gives case studies and implementation guidance on effective engagement for all protected groups and a big launch is happening in May.

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