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RCN showcases race equality work on national stage

20 Oct 2015

An initiative to reduce the risk of discrimination against Black and Minority Ethnic nursing staff facing possible disciplinary action was showcased at the Chief Nursing Officer’s BME Advisory Group annual conference in Birmingham.

Four NHS trusts in the West Midlands teamed up with the RCN in the region 12 months ago to recruit, train and start assigning senior BME nurses to investigation teams and panels considering disciplinary allegations against BME staff.

Known as the Cultural Ambassador programme, the project aims to address concerns about the over-representation of BME staff in disciplinary cases at work and ensure they are treated fairly.

Possible expansion

An evaluation of the impact of the project is currently being done, and this will inform further work to promote equality for BME staff, including possible expansion to other organisations.

One of the Cultural Ambassadors, Nina Kilaire, joined RCN West Midlands representatives in delivering a presentation on the initiative at Valuing Diversity, Embracing Change, the Chief Nursing Officer’s seventh annual BME conference at Birmingham City FC.

The conference, hosted by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, heard from a variety of speakers, including Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, and Roger Kline, a leading researcher on workforce race equality in the NHS.

NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard

The RCN's Cultural Ambassador project supports the aims of the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard. Introduced earlier this year, this standard requires NHS employers to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality.

One of the nine indicators of performance reportable by each NHS organisation is the relative likelihood of their BME staff entering the formal disciplinary process, compared to White staff.