Saturday, June 15, 2024
HomeCulture WarNever mind patient care, diversity is top of the NHS list

Never mind patient care, diversity is top of the NHS list


AS THE NHS goes through yet another of its winter crises and the junior doctors strike yet again, causing the cancellation of thousands of patient appointments, there’s one part of our beloved health service which is going from strength to strength – the DIE (Diversity, Inclusion and Equality) industry. At the latest count, the NHS employed around 800 DIE staff.The direct salary cost is estimated at £40million a year, but when you take account of other employment costs – offices, computers, assistants, pension contributions plus all the frontline staff’s time spent on various ultra-woke indoctrination sessions – the real cost of the NHS’s DIE colossus is easily over £100million a year. Moreover, despite pledges to reduce DIE staff, the NHS keeps recruiting ever more.

Here’s part of a recent recruitment ad from London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital for an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager with a salary of up to £65,095:

‘Are you passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion? Do you have proven experience in leading change and creating working environments where all colleagues can thrive? Do you like a challenge?

‘If yes, then this role gives you an exciting opportunity to join the Workforce and OD team here at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS. This post, reporting to the Organisational Development Consultant, will work with stakeholders internally and externally to identify and implement changes to make a real difference to the lived experiences of our workforce and help achieve our strategic objectives . . .

‘Moorfields values diversity and inclusion and is committed to the recruitment and retention of under-represented groups. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates, LGBTQ+ candidates and candidates with disabilities . . .

‘The post holder will lead the development and operational implementation of the Trust’s EDI strategic objectives. This includes stakeholder engagement, definition, and delivery of the implementation plan, developing a suite of metrics to monitor progress, and evaluation of the interventions.

‘The post holder will lead on reporting and improving the Trust’s position on the Gender Pay Gap, the Ethnicity Pay Gap, the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) and Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES).

‘At Moorfields, we provide more than just an excellent career and great colleagues to work with. We also offer:

  • Salary including High-Cost Area Supplement
  • Opportunity to join the NHS Pension Scheme
  • Free 24/7 independent counselling service
  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Easy and quick transport links
  • A range of attractive benefits and discounts
  • Access to Blue Light Card and other NHS Discount Schemes
  • Free Pilates classes
  • Full support and training to develop your skills
  • Flexible working friendly organisation

‘And so much more! To see the full range of benefits we offer please see our Moorfields benefits document.’

The ad focuses on the effect this new position will have ‘to make a real difference to the lived experiences of our workforce’. There is no mention of such concepts as reducing patient waiting lists or improving the patient experience or providing better patient care, nor any benefits this position will bring to patients of Moorfields Eye Hospital.

The ad highlights the hospital’s commitment to hiring ‘Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BME) candidates’. But when you look at the staff statistics from the hospital, you’ll see that 55.9 per cent are from BME backgrounds – more than double the NHS England average level of 24.2 per cent and well above the UK population’s level of 18 per cent.  Moreover, a Moorfields report states that ‘the relative likelihood of white applicants being appointed from shortlisting across all posts compared to BME applicants’ is much lower than the NHS England national average. So, if Moorfields Eye Hospital were truly to reflect the ethnic backgrounds of its patients, perhaps it should be busy hiring more white applicants and not more from BME backgrounds?

Just in case you think I’m being unfair to Moorfields, here’s a recruitment ad for an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. Again, no mention of patients, patient care or cutting waiting lists. And here’s the ad for an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Business Partner at the George Eliot NHS Healthcare Trust based in Nuneaton, salary up to £57,349. No mention of patients in the job description here either. And here’s the job ad for a Senior Organisational Development & EDI Partner at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, salary up to £57,349. The lucky applicant will be required to ‘support culture programmes to improve staff experience, and develop leadership capability to deliver a compassionate and inclusive culture here across Bedfordshire Luton and Milton Keynes’. No mention of ‘improving the patient experience’.

Fancy applying to be an Associate Director of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust on a salary of up to £88,884? This vital individual will be ‘responsible for advising the Director for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion regarding equality and diversity issues, including changes to legislation, publication of relevant Government and Department of Health documents, good practice’. Given the generous salary of the Associate Director of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, heaven knows how much the Director for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is being paid.

Looking at these job ads, an outsider might get the impression that our NHS seems to have forgotten that its primary purpose is looking after patients rather than building a massive inward-looking DIE bureaucratic empire which appears to be blissfully unaware of why the NHS exists at all.

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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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