Hello everyone – welcome to my latest blog, and thank you for taking the time to read it. I can’t believe it’s now October!
You’ll probably be aware that today (1st October) marks the beginning of Black History Month. This provides us all with an opportunity to stop and reflect on the experiences of our Black and ethnic minority colleagues, patients and fellow citizens as well as acknowledging and celebrating their enormous contribution to both the NHS and society as whole.
I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank all BAME members of the NHS and wider care workforce for everything that they do for our communities and organisations. Please be assured that your input is valued and appreciated, and is making a difference to people every day. The NHS is the fifth largest employer in the world and 21% of our workforce is from a BAME background. NHS Employers have produced this infographic including key facts and actions that we can all take to improve diversity and inclusion, and address discrimination. Improving-race-equality-in-the-NHS.pdf (nhsemployers.org)
I attended the NHS North West Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Assembly Board Engagement Event 2021 on Thursday this week and heard some excellent contributions to help senior leaders have the tools to address equality, diversity and inclusion in our workforce and for our patients. We discussed the importance of always looking through an inclusive lens and actively seeking out and listening to the voices of our seldom heard stakeholders. It is not acceptable to do what we think is enough if we are not reaching the very people who need us most. Inequality and inequity are often used interchangeably – but they are not the same. While it is quite right that ‘tackling health inequalities’ is a priority for NHS England and all developing ICSs (indeed all NHS organisations and more) we cannot effectively do this without treating people equitably. That means accepting that some people and communities need more of our resources and effort.
There was also a meeting of the C&M ICS Development Advisory Group on Thursday – a group that includes wide representation from all our Place Boroughs and partners – and we heard from our Provider Collaboratives, the HR&OD workstream and received the ICS Communications Strategy. I was reassured by the fact that all recognise and embrace the need to properly engage with our stakeholders and for all partners (from health, local government and the voluntary, community and faith community) to co-operate with each other as well as collaborate. Here in Cheshire and Merseyside, we have been building much stronger relationships with and between our stakeholders over many years now to secure effective joint working.
I am confident in our ICS and in our borough / places and I look forward to continuing to work together to achieve equality for all, for better health in our communities, better services for when people need them, and better value for the money we spend.
Have a great week readers, until next time…….