Thursday, July 18, 2024
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£100million down the NHS diversity drain?


I HAVE written previously on TCW about my astonishment at why our collapsing, supposedly cash-strapped NHS keeps on hiring ever more DIE (Diversity, Inclusion and Equality) staff. 

I haven’t been able to find out how many of these (in my humble opinion) useless individuals are employed by the NHS (please note, I did not write ‘work in the NHS’). I suspect that in NHS England’s 217 trusts there must be somewhere around 500 DIE staff costing us in the region of £100million a year including their salaries, pensions, offices and frontline staff’s time they use up in seminars about the joys of diversity and LGBT+++ and other similarly important subjects.

However, I may have discovered the main cause of this DIE disease afflicting our NHS. It would seem that it is linked to something called the ‘Public Sector Equality Duty’ (PSED) produced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). 

The PSED requires that ‘in England, all public bodies should have published their equality information by 30 March 2023. They should have also published equality objectives, which should be specific, measurable and timely’.

The EHRC explains: ‘The equality duty was developed in order to harmonise the equality duties and to extend it across the protected characteristics. It consists of a general equality duty, supported by specific duties which are imposed by secondary legislation. In summary, those subject to the equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to:

·         Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the [2010 Equality] Act.

·         Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

·         Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.’

The aim of this initiative is apparently to provide ‘services that are more appropriate to the user, and services that are more effective and cost-effective’.

This policy may be well-meaning. But it has led to the proliferation of a whole new species of public-sector employees – DIE managers and DIE team leads and DIE specialists and others of their ilk, most of whom will also need DIE assistants – being recruited to meet the demands of the PSED.

Here are some short extracts from three of the most recent DIE job ads posted by the NHS.

At Kettering Hospital Trust, the £58,972-£68,525 a year Senior Diversity and Inclusion Specialist ‘will work as part of the Organisational Development (OD) and Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team and the key strategic lead for EDI, whilst also working operationally to support colleagues and leaders from across the Group to embed EDI in all aspects of service delivery. You will be the organisational lead for the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), associated action plans and a key influencer within our Health Inequalities work. You will lead a broad range of projects and developments as part of the Group’s ambition to be an inclusive employer where staff are empowered to make a difference’.

Let us hope that the medical staff at Kettering Hospital Trust taking part in the ‘broad range of projects’ to improve diversity, inclusion and equality find some time to look after the patients.

At the Lincoln Community Health Services Trust, ‘the EDI assistant (£22,816-£24,336 a year) provides a professional and high-quality customer focused service to the managers, staff, staff networks and other stakeholders. Providing support in the monitoring and administration of all aspects of the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.’

Included in this vital individual’s work will be: ‘Set up meetings, facilitate arrangements for EDI celebration weeks and days (to include Black History Month, LGBT+ History Month, Carers week and International Women’s Day – list not inclusive, manage the Cultural Intelligence programme process, ordering and issuing relevant correspondence, responsible for maintaining stock control (CQ licences), as well as the Reverse Mentoring Programme admin – liaising between mentor/mentees.’

Quite how Lincoln Community Health Services Trust celebrating Black History Month and LGBT+ History Month and International Women’s day contributes to getting ambulances to emergencies on time, cutting waiting lists and improving patient care escapes me.

The East London NHS Foundation Trust is hiring an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion People Participation Lead on £35,392-£42,618 a year: ‘The post holder will work strategically across Trust services with a focus on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in order to develop and implement a strategy that supports the broad participation agenda . . .

‘Our mission is to make a positive difference to people’s lives by improving the quality of life for all we serve. Our values are: We Care, We Respect, We are Inclusive – so we are looking for people who live and breathe these qualities when supporting service users and carers, and in their relationships with colleagues in the Trust and our partner organisations.’

Some more old-fashioned readers might still believe that hiring people with medical skills could be more important to a patient having a heart attack or suffering from Stage 4 cancer than inventing well-paid non-jobs for ‘people who live and breathe these qualities’ of care, respect and inclusion.

So it seems that a bunch of bureaucrats at the Equality and Human Rights Commission with plenty of time on their hands invented this Public Sector Equality Duty to make it look as if they were doing some work. Of course, as part of the woke-ification of Britain, some of these DIE creatures would have been hired anyway. But the EHRC’s PSED has accelerated and increased the plague of DIE nonentities and has ended up costing the NHS tens of millions of pounds a year and probably similar amounts of our money throughout other government departments.

The EHRC claims ‘this can lead to increased satisfaction with public services’. I will leave it to readers to decide whether they have enjoyed ‘increased satisfaction with public services’ since the PSED was introduced.

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David Craig
David Craig
David Craig's latest book THERE IS NO CLIMATE CRISIS is available as a paperback or ebook from Amazon

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