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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

On the 31 July 2014 The NHS Equality & Diversity Council (EDC) announced that it had agreed action to ensure employees from Black Minority Ethnicity (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.

The EDC committed to implementing two measures two measures and pledged to improve equality across the NHS, commencing April 2015.

The two areas to be measured were as follows:

  • The Workforce Race Equality Standards
  • The NHS Equality Delivery System (EDS2)


These measures will be mandatory requirements embedded within the NHS contract provided by the CCG and subject to regulation. We are fully committed and will fully embrace both of these requirements

The Workforce Race Equality Standard supports and will help in the delivery of three of the EDS2 goals:

  • Better health outcomes for all
  • Improved access and experience
  • A representative and supported workforce

Aim

The aim of the WRES is to improve the experience of BME staff in the workplace. This includes employment, promotion and training opportunities. It also applies to BME people who want to work in the NHS. Additionally, this applies to BME staffs’ experience of the employee relations process. This can be achieved by taking Positive Action to eliminate discrimination, harassment and unfair treatment of BME staff in the workplace.

The implementation of the WRES will make tackling race equality a priority for the NHS and for the Trust. It will allow us to provide focus on a number of areas including:

  • BME representation at Senior Management and Board level
  • The experience of BME staff in the employee relations process and NHS Staff Survey
  • The non-mandatory training and development opportunities made available to BME members of staff

Closing Gaps

The WRES is a tool to systematically identify gaps between BME & White staff experiences in the workplace. In measuring those gaps and taking action this will achieve:

  • Tangible progress in eliminating discrimination
  • Support in the creation of a positive working culture and valued staff
  • Improve the opportunities available to BME members of staff


This will create an environment in the Trust whereby all staff feels engaged, valued and supported. This will result in high quality patient care and improved health outcomes for all.

Metrics

There are nine metrics related to the WRES, the Trust has to publish data by the 1st July 2015 presenting the findings both publicly and internally. We also have to submit our findings to the Co-ordinating Commissioners and also to the NHS. This initial finding should be viewed as a starting point or benchmark for the Trust. We are then to report on our progress on the findings by April 2016 and may be subject to scrutiny and inspection.

Current Position

The current position on our initial finding can be found at the WRES Reporting Template.

The draft action plan was presented to the Workforce Committee and the Trust Equality Panel and both groups will now act ask reporting bodies on progress for the WRES.