Lincolnshire's NHS showing a commitment to race equality

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has recently hosted a ground-breaking conference to focus on the needs  of black, minority and ethnic patients and staff. 

The Lincolnshire Race Equality Conference, held at the end of October, was a joint celebration between ULHT, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Fifty delegates from across the healthcare community attended the event, and Yvonne Coghill from the NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) Team was a keynote speaker.

The WRES is a requirement that NHS organisations demonstrate how they are addressing race equality issues in a range of staffing areas.

The event was aimed at developing plans for how the NHS organisations can better identify and respond to the needs of staff from differing ethnic backgrounds, as evidence shows that if staff are properly cared for, there will in turn be benefits for their patients. It was also aimed at developing peer support networks for black, minority and ethnic staff.

Information shared at the conference revealed that 10.9% of staff working in Lincolnshire's hospitals are black, minority and ethnic (BME), compared only to 1.5% of people in Lincolnshire generally. Results from recent staff surveys reveal that these staff generally access less non-mandatory training than other staff, and more often feel discriminated against.

Yvonne Coghill said: "I was delighted to attend the conference to be able to talk about race equality in relation to high quality care, patient satisfaction and patient safety."

Chair of Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Paul Devlin, said: "This has been an important event for the trusts in Lincolnshire. We are learning and challenging ourselves about what more we need to do for black, minority and ethnic staff, patients and their families."

The event recevied excellent evaluation feedback from the delegates and a commitment has been made to host a similar conference in 2017.