Black, Asian and minority ethnic under-representation in the NHS to be addressed with new leadership programme

A new leadership programme is being launched to address imbalances in black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME/BME) representation in leadership roles at every level within healthcare across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The programme, Staffordshire Stepping Up, will support existing and aspiring BAME leaders to further develop leadership skills, as well as developing enhanced skills to assist with career progression.

Utilising the national Stepping Up programme, the Staffordshire-based programme has been fully funded on behalf of the member organisations of Together We’re Better, the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, courtesy of the NHS Leadership Academy.

One in five NHS employees has BAME ethnicity. However, locally and nationally BAME staff are significantly under-represented in many staff groups, including higher managerial roles. BAME leadership programmes provide a safe space to discuss shared issues and experiences, and to develop confidence and skills to access these roles.

Up 120 local BAME staff members will take part in the programme, with two modules set to be delivered to three cohorts of staff between September 2018 and March 2019.

Yvonne Coghill, Director for Workforce Race Equality Standard implementation, NHS England, said: “A programme that helps support the development of people from BME backgrounds is wonderful and very welcome. The evidence shows that people from BME backgrounds in the NHS find it harder to be appointed to more senior roles, harder to access development opportunities and often much harder to progress in their careers. Therefore, having BME specific development programmes as well as general leadership programmes are essential elements in supporting and enabling talented staff from all background to progress.”

Caroline Donovan, Senior Responsible Officer for the Together We’re Better System Leadership programme, said: “Part of our commitment across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is to support participants of the Staffordshire Stepping Up programme to ensure that they are able to embed their new skills and are helped and encouraged to continue to develop these upon return to the workforce, through a period of ongoing support following completion of the programme.”

Simon Whitehouse, Together We’re Better Director, said: “This programme is essential to creating a truly inclusive NHS in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, in which access to careers and development opportunities is fair and equitable.”

Staff members with queries about the programme can direct these to Lesley Faux, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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