The Equality and Diversity Council EDC have agreed that a Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) be consulted on, with a view to it being included in the NHS standard contract 15/16. Over the last three months extensive consultation has taken place with key stakeholders regarding the WRES. The WRES has been warmly welcomed as a positive step forward to deliver responsibilities under the equalities agenda. The Standard forms the first stage in a process of addressing workforce equality issues.
The WRES will, for the first time, require organisations employing almost all of the 1.4 million NHS workforce to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low levels of black and minority ethnic board representation. All providers, as holders of the NHS Standard Contract 15/16, except ‘small providers’ will be expected to implement the WRES from April 2015. An annual report will be required to be submitted to the Coordinating Commissioner outlining progress on the Standard.
Three of the metrics are specifically on workforce data and five of the metrics are based on data from the national staff survey indicators. The latter will highlight any differences between the experience and treatment of white staff, and black and minority ethnic staff in the NHS with a view to close those metrics. The final metric requires provider organisations to ensure that their boards are broadly representative of the communities they serve.
The full list of metrics is available on the NHS England website.