Norfolk NHS trusts pledge support to tackle racism

Three people holding copies of the Anti-Racism Charter walk over a rainbow zebra crossing outside Hellesdon Hospital

More than 10,000 NHS staff in Norfolk are now covered by a new charter aimed at tackling racism in the public sector, trade union UNISON announces on UN Anti-Racism Day today.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust (QEH) have all signed trade union UNISON’s Anti-Racism Charter, committing the organisations and their leaders to a range of pledges designed to prevent racial bias.

It includes championing a racially diverse workforce, having a clear programme of anti-racist initiatives and providing equality training for all staff.

The trusts will also be expected to report on their ethnicity pay gaps and monitor disciplinary and grievance processes to ensure outcomes are fair.

Welcoming the news, UNISON Eastern regional secretary Tim Roberts said: “These trusts should be congratulated for making a firm commitment to tackling discrimination in all its forms.

“This won’t only improve the experiences of Black staff, but lead to fairer and better workplaces, helping improve the quality of services for the people of Norfolk.

Stephen Collman and Peter Passingham stand by a sign for the Anti-Racism Charter

Stephen Collman, NCH&C chief executive, said: “We proudly signed UNISON’s Anti-Racism Charter as we are fully committed to a culture of inclusion and safe spaces at the trust.

“At NCH&C we believe that there is strength in diversity and that we are able to better treat patients when we reflect our diverse communities.

“We are proud to champion anti-racism across our community trust so that not only do we treat our patients with respect and dignity, but our colleagues can work in safety, and progress and develop their skills and expertise to improve the health outcomes for our population.”

Stuart Richardson, chief executive at NSFT, said: “I’m proud to reaffirm our trust’s commitment to anti-racism by signing the UNISON Anti-Racism Charter.

“We are committed to ensuring that equality and inclusion are at the heart of all our teams and that everyone feels safe and valued.

“Everyone, from our executive board to our front line staff needs to play their part. We all need to be proactive in challenging and ending discrimination and harassment. Being proactively anti-racist is a necessary part of ensuring equal treatment for everyone.”

Four people hold copies of the Anti-Racism Charter at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn

Caroline Shaw CBE, chief executive at QEH, said: “This is an incredibly important moment for QEH and really emphasises our commitment to dealing with discrimination and inequalities.

“Our pledge to prevent racial bias will ensure we have a fairer and more equal workplace and this will undoubtedly improve the quality of our services for our patients and communities.”