Improvements in equality and inclusion have helped Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust achieve the Race Code quality mark for the organisation.
The RACE Code – Reporting, Action, Composition and Education – was established in 2020 by Dr Karl George MBE, a governance consultant working in the West Midlands, to help organisations improve race equality and to tackle discrimination within the workplace. Inspired by the global Black Lives Matter campaign, he describes the code as being about tackling race inequity in senior leadership/management positions and enabling opportunity.
It is based on current laws, reports, charters and pledges and is designed to challenge managers to identify ways in which they could improve diversity and race equality within their services – ensuring staff and service-users feel both valued and understood.
The Trust had to go through an in-depth assessment, looking at how inclusive it is of staff and patients and develop an action plan for further improvement. And the Trust Board made the following pledge:
“We, the Trust Board, pledge to demonstrate through our actions that we listen and support people and that we are an anti-racist trust. We will ensure that the organisation treats people equally, fairly and inclusively with zero tolerance of bullying. We uphold and role-model the Trust values chosen by you.”
The next full review and reassessment will take place no later than May 2024.
Sabrina Richards, Walsall Healthcare’s Talent Inclusion and Resourcing Lead, said: “We are proud to have achieved this accreditation but will continue to challenge ourselves to ensure that the experiences of our staff, patients and their families are truly inclusive as we know there is still a lot of work to do to be an anti-racist and inclusive organisation.
“ The commitment and application of the Race Code principles are an important part of the collective effort to radically move the dial on representation in the boardroom and senior leadership and shows the Trust has a targeted approach to Race equality, whilst ensuring that it forms part of a wider inclusion strategy, which is documented and defined within our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.”