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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

Since 1 April 2015 all NHS organisations have been required to demonstrate how they are addressing race equality issues in a range of staffing areas. The WRES helps organisations to achieve this.


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.

All NHS organisations are required to demonstrate through the nine-point WRES metric how they are addressing race equality issues in a range of staffing areas.

WRES Indicators

"The WRES will, for the first time, require organisations employing almost all of the 1.4 million NHS workforce, to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low levels of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Board representation." NHS England's WRES indicators document

The nine points will help the NHS map and make visible the organisation's overall progress towards racial equality. They are as follows:

1. Percentage of staff in each of the AfC Bands 1-9 and VSM (including executive Board members) compared with the percentage of staff in the overall workforce

2. Relative likelihood of staff being appointed from shortlisting across all posts

3. Relative likelihood of staff entering the formal disciplinary process, as measured by entry into a formal disciplinary investigation 

4. Relative likelihood of staff accessing non-mandatory training and CPD

5. Percentage of staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from patients, relatives or the public in last 12 months  

6. Percentage of staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from staff in last 12 months  

7. Percentage believing that trust provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion 

8. Extent to which employees have experienced discrimination at work from managers or other work colleagues

9. Percentage difference between the organisations’ Board voting membership and its overall workforce.

Progress Reports

The latest report is the NHS England Progress Report April 2017 . The next can be expected in April 2018