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North Mid declares commitment to being an anti-racist organisation

At its Annual General Meeting yesterday, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust has declared its commitment to tackling structural racism and health inequalities by publishing its anti-racism statement.

The statement, which was developed with NHS leaders in London, acknowledges that structural racism exists within the NHS and that action will be taken to address it to make the experience of staff and patients equitable.

The statement reads:

We will identify and take action to tackle structural racism and wider health inequalities, embedding reflection and learning at all levels.

We are committed to embedding a strong strategic anti-racism approach in London’s Health and Care System:

  • In the places our people work in
  • In the provision of the care we provide
  • Across all Systems of health and care we deliver for the people of London

We openly acknowledge the repeated negative experiences of staff from multiple ethnic groups within our NHS health and care system.

We recognise that these lived experiences arise from embedded policies, practices and processes, many of which have become normalised and unchallenged in our systems; representing (for staff) institutionalised racism.

We further acknowledge that racism serves as an issue in and of itself, but also, as a surrogate for discriminatory practices against other characteristics such as gender, sexual orientation, religion, belief, disability and others that can detrimentally intersect for individuals. 

As set out in our London Workforce Race Strategy (2020), we will create environments where all our staff can be their full, true and authentic selves and thus deliver to their best potentials and progress to their ultimate goals. We commit to actively seeking to identify, measure and call out discriminatory practice and to take steps to deal consistently and effectively with poor behaviour where present in any of our staff or organisations. We will not be complicit by silence.

The NHS England – London Promise

  • We will listen and hear when staff raise concerns
  • We will choose to be curious, humble and considerate and avoid defensive thinking.
  • We will take action where discrimination is evident
  • We will pro-actively co-design new systems with staff and stakeholders and institute polices, practices and cultural expectations for belonging and inclusion
  • We will embed a strategic approach to commissioning to help reduce systemic bias, focused on creating the right environment for reducing systemic bias in commissioning that will improve patient care and experience
  • We will hold ourselves accountable, individually and collectively, as leaders to delivering to these commitments

North Mid has already taken a number of steps to put equity at the heart of everything the organisation does. This includes leading on plans to implement the NHS anti-racist framework for nursing and midwifery, working with software developers to change products, to ensure they reflect the diversity of the populations North Mid serves and sharing a library of personal stories that illustrate the strength which diversity brings to our Trust.  

Dr Nnenna Osuji, chief executive of North Mid, said: "I want to openly acknowledge that structural racism exists. I hear this from our staff who come to me to talk about instances they have experienced and we know it arises from practices and processes that have become normalised in our systems and often go unchallenged.  

“It’s our duty to make sure North Mid, and the NHS, is a fair and equitable place to work and this declaration is part of our collective effort to make meaningful change to people’s daily lives.”

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