Health Secretary’s call to stop recruiting to EDI roles a ‘distraction’
A CALL by the Health Secretary for NHS leaders to stop recruiting to roles promoting diversity and equality has been labelled a ‘distraction’ by IPEM.
A story in the Independent said Steve Barclay has written to NHS leaders claiming the roles do not represent value for money and the money would be better spent on patient care.
IPEM is a long-standing signatory to the Science Council’s declaration on equity, diversity and inclusion, which commits organisations to creating greater opportunities for minoritised people to fulfil their scientific potential by challenging inequalities and creating more inclusive practices.
Dr Anna Barnes, IPEM’s President, said: ‘Having a diverse science workforce is essential for science to better serve society and patients. Challenging inequities, removing barriers when identified and working towards equitable systems and processes will lead to better outcomes for all who work, and aspire to work and study, in our profession.
‘What the Health Secretary has suggested would hamper progress towards this.
‘We have consistently pointed out the workforce shortfalls facing the medical physics and clinical engineering community in particular and the wider workforce issues facing the NHS as a whole, and Mr Barclay’s suggestion is a distraction from this.’
Dr Barnes also pointed to the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard, in which the NHS declared a commitment to creating and maintaining compassionate and inclusive culture where diversity is valued and celebrated as a critical component and not just a desirable one.
A review commissioned by the NHS Race and Health Observatory, published last year, also said urgent action was needed to tackle overwhelming minority ethnic health inequalities in the NHS which is harming the health of millions of patients.
Dr Barnes said: ‘Inclusiveness is one of IPEM’s three key strategic values and we want it to be part of everything we do and every decision we take as a professional body and an employer.
‘It matters to us and to our members and it also matters to the NHS as a whole to achieve a more diverse workforce which would lead to a better workforce.’