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Unity Against Racism

Unity Against Racism

We know that our ethnically diverse community experience inequalities in access, experience and outcomes in health services compared to white groups.


two community staf walking in the street

Some facts about health inequalities in the UK

  • South Asian people have a 40% higher death rate from coronary heart disease than the general population
  • Black women are 4 times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth
  • South Asian and Black people are 2-4 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than white people
  • African-Caribbean men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men of the same age

Locally, we know that:

  • In some of our services, there are unexplained disparities in wait times by ethnicity
  • There are some unexplained disparities in usage of some services
  • Black males are more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act
  • There are some unexplained disparities in the numbers of people that do not attend appointments by ethnicity

Visit the NHS Race & Health Observatory (RHO) website to read about ethnic inequalities in health and care

We know that there are unacceptable disparities in experience for our ethnically diverse colleagues

  • Ethnically diverse colleagues are 10.9% more likely to experience harassment, bullying or abuse from members of the public
  • White colleagues are up to 1.93 times more likely to progress their career
  • Ethnically diverse colleagues are 5.4% more likely to experience harassment, bullying or abuse from colleagues
  • 81% of incidents reported with a discrimination element relate to race

See our Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) 2023 report (pdf)

This needs to change. We’ve made a commitment to tackle racism and have set ourselves the goal of becoming an anti-racist organisation.

‘Not being racist’ is not enough – we need to actively work together to address all types and impacts of racism.

Two staff members talking on our ward


Staff member and a patient talking in a corridor

Our action statement

Berkshire Healthcare is committed to becoming an anti-racist organisation, in a purposeful and impactful way as part of our corporate strategy.

We take an active role in identifying and addressing all types and impacts of racism, not just when it is obvious.

The Board holds the responsibility for leading our anti-racism efforts and ensuring measurable objectives are achieved.

We firmly believe that anti-racism activity should not be solely placed on racialised groups. Instead, we embrace actively involving our Race Equality Network, colleagues, and communities to make meaningful change.

Our approach to achieving this includes:

  1. Making changes and taking positive actions that promote racial equity in all parts of our organisation
  2. Allocating resources to support our anti-racism agenda and monitor progress
  3. Supporting and encouraging our colleagues and community to actively participate in anti-racist practices
  4. Regularly and openly communicating our commitments and progress

Read our EDI Improvement Activity paper - November 2023 (pdf)

1. Patient access, experiences, and outcomes

What are the issues?

There are unacceptable disparities across access, experience and outcomes nationally and locally. We have committed to tackling health inequalities as part of our corporate strategy.

patient access experience and outcomes

National data shows disparities across vast areas of avoidable health inequality:

patient access experience and outcomes


How we're responding

  • Developing our Health Inequality Strategy
  • Investing in a project on disproportionate Mental Health Act detentions of Black communities partnering with MIND to deliver change and engage with our community
  • Launching a Community Anti-Racism Forum in Healthcare. As part of signing up communities will share their suggested priorities with us
  • Committed to developing our approach to Equality Impact Assessments in 23/24
  • Building an approach to better tackle inequality and provide health promotion and opportunistic episodes of care for Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showmen and Boater communities that have a high rate of underserved children, health inequalities and unmet mental health needs in health visiting service
  • Using Quality Improvement (QI) approaches to address local disparities

Visit our QI service page to find out more

2. Anti-racism education and engagement

What are the issues?

Our colleagues who attended anti-racism workshops told us they want us to focus on education and training. Members of the community have asked for more outreach and structured engagement.

They also wanted more anti-racist literature to be made available to staff, for services to be culturally tailored, and for staff to have a better understanding of language barriers and know what support is available for asylum seekers.

anti-racism education issues

How we are responding

  • Introduced an Anti-Racism taskforce
  • Developed a white allyship video with Deputy CEO
  • Revised our Induction training to cover allyship, microaggressions, being an upstander, equality impact assessments and developing impact centred approach to conflict
  • Made plans to launch a Community Anti-Racist in Healthcare Forum in October
  • Celebrated events linked to key equality dates – such as Windrush, South Asian Heritage Month and Black History Month

3. Incidents, support, and empowerment

What are the issues?

Staff who attended our workshops called for early resolution and transparency when racist incidents happen to help improve the experience for people.

Our communities wanted us to ensure we learn from mistakes.

incidents support issues

How we are responding

  • Made zero tolerance of racism a condition of admission for patients at Prospect Park Hospital
  • Facilitated open forums for staff at Campion Ward, Prospect Park Hospital
  • Launched the Prospect Park Hospital Advocacy for Racial Equity Team (PPARET) to assist staff with racial abuse and train advocates to frequently visit wards.
  • Started to look at what we can do to improve experience for people experiencing racism in Wokingham Community Nursing and Out of Hours Services
  • Relaunched our Violence Prevention and Reduction (VPR) Working Group

What we have done so far

  • Analysed our ethnicity pay gap
  • Reviewed our training data by ethnicity to ensure colleagues are receiving equitable access to training and personal development
  • Developed a new leadership and management training programme incorporating cultural intelligence and conscious inclusion

Read out Ethnicity Pay Gap reports

4. Recruitment, retention, progression, and conditions

What are the issues?

Despite numerous publications, recommendations, and legal cases, ongoing inequalities still exist in relation to ethnically diverse colleagues in terms of recruitment, retention, career advancement, and working conditions.

recruitment issues

How we are responding

  • Started an in depth review of data around training and CPD
  • Evaluated and shared a report with networks on our changed approach to disciplinaries
  • Started a review of our recruitment training
  • Planned a review of Inclusive Recruitment to suggest specific interventions
  • Developed our Leadership and Talent Strategy
  • Introduced ethnicity pay gap reporting

Read our latest pay gap reports

5. Anti-racism policy and practice

What are the issues?

We know that the way some of our policies and practice are structured disadvantages ethnically diverse people and we need to do more to effectively challenge this.

Our taskforce

A dedicated team responsible for driving positive change and fostering an inclusive, equitable and antiracist organisational culture.

Our aims

  • Develop an anti-racism strategy
  • Establish a system for tracking and reporting on progress on anti-racism initiatives
  • Advocate for resources and support needed to execute the anti-racism strategy effectively
  • Assess policies and procedures to identify potential biases and discriminatory practices
  • Raise awareness about racism, privilege and unconscious bias
  • Create mechanisms for colleagues to express concerns, share experiences and provide feedback

Each of our members have provided a short statement about how they will put our strategy into practice.

Meet our anti-racism taskforce