by Roger Kline
Originally published: May 16, 2017
The NHS would grind to a standstill without the contribution of its black and minority ethnic (BME) staff. A fifth of nurses and midwives and a third of doctors are from BME backgrounds. Yet, by almost every measure, their treatment is poorer than that of their white colleagues. The latest report on the experience of these staff (pdf), drawn from nine workforce and staff survey metrics from all 236 trusts in England, makes sobering reading.
The more senior the pay grade, the less likely it will be filled by BME staff. Almost a quarter (24%) of nurses and midwives at entry grade 5 are from BME backgrounds, but this falls to 4% once senior management grades (8C and 8D) are reached.
White job applicants are over one-and-a-half times more likely to be appointed from shortlisting than BME applicants. In 93% of trusts, it is more likely that white staff who have been shortlisted will be appointed than BME staff. Not surprisingly, BME staff are more than twice as likely as white staff to believe that their trust does not provide equal opportunities for career progression and promotion.