Published on: 4 June 2020

In his role as Co-Chair of NHS Confederation’s BME Leadership Network, our Chief Executive Ifti Majid has co-written a statement about the need to end the discrimination BME communities face:

"Leaders have a responsibility to set the tone in respecting others, respecting difference and valuing diversity. 

"As healthcare leaders, we can either help anchor our communities or contribute towards destabilising them. We must make every effort to end the direct and indirect discrimination black and minority ethnic (BME) communities face.
"In the case of George Floyd, direct discrimination led to his untimely death. We have our own equivalent cases in the UK, which are similarly caused by structural and systemic issues.
"Discrimination and inequality cost lives. The scandals of Grenfell and Windrush are now being overlayed by the disproportionate numbers of COVID-19 deaths within the BME population. Ill-treatment leads to ill health; non-inclusive health services can exacerbate the socioeconomic determinants of health inequalities. We urge healthcare leaders to act on the evidence that too often health outcomes and satisfaction for BME communities, service users and staff fall significantly below those of the white community.
"Not being racist is not enough. We must be wholeheartedly anti-racist, applying evidence-based approaches, and hold ourselves to account for delivery."

Danielle Oum and Ifti Majid, co-chairs of the BME Leadership Network and respectively chair of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and chief executive of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The statement is also available to read in full on the NHS Confederation website