Responding to the publication of the Medical Workforce Race Equality Standard action plan, Dr Latifa Patel, BMA workforce lead, said:
“We welcome the publication today by NHS England of the Medical Workforce Race Equality Standard (MWRES) Commitment to Collaborate, which outlines five key domains to reduce racial disparities in doctors’ career progression and experiences. When the inaugural MWRES report was published in 2021 it revealed the devastating scale at which ethnic minority doctors are being unfairly disadvantaged throughout their career. We have supported the development of this action plan, which sets out the next steps towards rectifying some of those disadvantages.
“Last year we published a series of reports which showed the continued impact of racism in medicine: the Racism in Medicine Survey found that 23% of respondents considered leaving a job due to racial discrimination; our research report “Why are we still here?” found that international medical graduates (IMGs) were more likely than UK-born participants to talk about experiencing overt discrimination. Doctors from ethnic minority backgrounds continue to face disproportionate employer referrals and fitness to practise concerns, with no significant accountability of the organisations that make these referrals without justification.
“Our Delivering Race Equality in Medicine report recommended that IMG doctors should have appropriate induction at a local level, something echoed by today’s action plan. We also recommended that the MWRES report should be extended to primary care, where we need to understand the differentials better. We hope to see this in future versions of this report.
“This is a step in the right direction but there is still a long way to go. No one in medicine should feel that they are being held back or excluded because of their race or any other protected characteristics, yet this action plan has been published at a time when diversity and inclusion work is being deprioritised in some areas of the NHS. We will hold all the organisations listed in this action plan to account in how they implement and evaluate the impact of these actions.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.