The 15 actions summarised below will help employer organisations across the UK to tackle racism at a strategic and systemic level.
They cover areas that experts have pointed out are crucial to establish more equitable workplaces, including improving accountability and debiasing recruitment processes.
The actions support organisations to demonstrate that they are delivering good quality care.
If based in England, organisations will note that the actions correspond to Care Quality Commission (CQC) assessment criteria.
in Scotland, the actions correspond to recommendations made by the Mental Welfare Commission. In Wales, the actions correspond to Welsh Government’s common framework Health and Care Standards, and the Zero Racism Wales pledge overseen by Race Council Cymru that a number of health boards are signatories of.
We stress the relevance of the actions in their entirety to all four UK nations. To assist organisations, we have elaborated on these actions and have suggested ways that they could be carried forward (section 4); we have developed a maturity matrix (Appendix 1) and we have set out examples of how the actions can be mapped against CQC domains (Appendix 2).
Organisations may wish to prioritise actions that relate to specific areas which they already know need to be addressed locally. For example, in England, those that relate to the areas and actions set out within their annual Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) or the Medical WRES Report (WRES).
The 15 actions are divided into six domains:
- Leadership and strategy
- Addressing concerns
- Equity of opportunity
- Organisational culture
- Specific sections of the medical workforce
Leadership and strategy
1. Make a clear organisational commitment to tackling all forms of discrimination – including intersectional discrimination – against minoritised ethnic staff.
2. Ensure all leaders have in-depth knowledge and understanding about racism, intersectional discrimination and its impact on minoritised ethnic staff, and have the skills, experience and integrity to implement mitigations through ongoing short but regular training and supervision.
3. Appoint a senior board representative and member of the leadership team to have senior officer responsibility for delivery of the agreed actions around acting against racism, intersectional discrimination and its impact on minoritised ethnic staff.
4. Those given senior officer responsibility for delivering the agreed actions around acting against racism, intersectional discrimination and its impact on minoritised ethnic staff (action 3) should have overarching responsibility for data collection (including data on death certificates and all types of mortality data), analysis and stratified annual reporting to track progress.
5. Those given senior officer responsibility for delivering the agreed actions around acting against racism, intersectional discrimination and its impact on minoritised ethnic staff, (action 3) should have overarching responsibility for a co-produced Strategic Plan.
6. Ensure your staff support service offers effective, confidential and independent points of contact to support minoritised ethnic staff, including those affected by racist bullying, harassment, microaggressions or concerns about discrimination around career progression, differential attainment and disciplinary action.
7. Have clear policies and procedures for staff to report any instances of bullying, harassment or concerns about discrimination around career progression, differential attainment and disciplinary action.
8. Emphasise and follow through on a zero-tolerance approach to racist behaviour from patients and their carers towards all healthcare staff.
Equity of opportunity
9. Take an evidence-based and objective approach to recruitment and promotion activities, including de-biasing the recruitment and promotion process, rather than relying on training to de-bias panels.
10. Provide mentoring (including reverse mentoring), coaching and sponsorship to all staff, including at least a proportionate number of minoritised ethnic staff.
11. Create a culture that firstly, feels safe for all staff and encourages openness and honesty at all levels within the organisation about racism, intersectional discrimination and its impact; and secondly, is a welcoming and inclusive workplace environment for minoritised ethnic staff, so that they feel as supported, respected and valued as their non-minoritised peers.
12. Facilitate the development, growth and ongoing sustainability of an effective staff network for addressing the needs, views and concerns of minoritised ethnic staff.
Specific sections of the medical workforce
13. Increase organisational awareness that International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and Specialty and Specialist (SAS) doctors are more likely to experience racism and gradism in the workplace.
14. For International Medical Graduates (IMGs), provide appropriate early pastoral, practical and professional induction and support and address disproportionate referrals for disciplinary action using appropriate local measures.
15. For Specialty and Specialist (SAS) doctors, who are more likely to be minoritised ethnic staff, implement the British Medical Association’s (BMA) SAS Charter in full.
Video: The 15 actions
In this film, members of our working group discuss the 15 actions from our 'Tackling racism in the workplace' guidance.