Unite toolkit launch to combat racism in the NHS

Unite toolkit launched to combat racism in the NHS

11 October 2016

Unite, the country’s largest union, is reaching out to NHS workplaces to combat the scourge of racism that holds back the promotion prospects of black Asian and ethnic minority (BAEM) workers in the health service.
Unite in Health, which has 100,000 members in the health service, is launching its Race Ahead In Health toolkit tomorrow (Wednesday 12 October) aimed at tackling race discrimination in the workplace.
A recent Unite snapshot survey of its BAEM members revealed lack of promotion for BAEM workers; racial harassment and bullying; and race discrimination in the job market.
The launch of the toolkit will be accompanied by the offer of training by Unite to NHS staff and managers to tackle conscious and unconscious bias, and opposing race discrimination in the workplace.
Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “We are launching the toolkit and training to assist NHS staff and managers to ensure that this issue is always on the agenda and allows no room for complacency.”
Unite national officer for health Sarah Carpenter said: “Academic studies have proved that when staff feel they are being discriminated against and bullied, they provide worse patient care. So this initiative to end discrimination and eliminate unfair treatment of BAEM NHS staff will lead to improved levels of patient care, so we can all benefit.”
Unite’s work builds on last year’s NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard, published by NHS England, that showed the experiences of BME and white staff from the staff survey 2015 at every NHS trust across England.
This revealed that 75 per cent of all acute trusts showed a higher percentage of BME staff being harassed, bullied or abused by staff in comparison to white staff. In 86 per cent of acute trusts, a higher percentage of BME staff did not believe that their organisation offers equal opportunities for career progression or promotion in comparison with white staff.
Notes to editors: 

  • There will be a photo opportunity at 12.30 outside Unite House, 128 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8TN tomorrow (Wednesday 12 October). 
  • Download a copy of the  Race ahead In health toolkit  (PDF)

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.