Inequalities and inclusion in NHS providers

This content relates to the following topics:

Why we're doing this project

Research demonstrates that not enough progress has been made to address discrimination against black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff in the NHS. The King’s Fund produced a report on the scale of the issue that highlights how the experiences of staff can vary depending on their age, gender and ethnicity. Reported levels of discrimination are highest for black employees and lowest for white employees; all other non-white groups are far more likely to report experiencing discrimination than white employees. 

The introduction of the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) (mandated through the NHS standard contract, starting in 2015/16) has led to improvement in a number of areas. However, significant cultural challenges remain in ensuring BAME NHS staff have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.

What we're doing

The King's Fund is committed to supporting the NHS to develop cultures of diversity and inclusion. We will interview NHS staff to understand what discrimination looks and feels like in health care settings and what impact it has on individuals, teams and organisations. By exploring the experiences of BAME NHS staff, we will add greater depth and meaning to the data already available in the NHS staff survey and linked to the WRES.

We will also identify NHS providers that have made continued improvements in terms of inclusion and explore how they have achieved it. We’ll highlight examples of what works to change behaviours and practice to help NHS leaders create better working conditions for all staff. 

Key milestones

A final report is expected in summer 2020.

Project lead


Shilpa Ross

Senior Researcher, The King's Fund