The main purposes of the Standard are:
- To produce action plans to close any gaps in workplace experience between white and black and ethnic minority (BME) staff.
- To improve BME representation at senior and Board level of the organisation where the representation does not reflect the population it serves.
Clinical Commissioning Groups
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have two roles in relation to the WRES: as commissioners of NHS services and as employers. The CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework requires CCGs to give assurance to NHS England that their providers are implementing and using the WRES.
CCGs are not required by the NHS standard contract to fully apply the WRES to themselves as some CCG workforces may be too small for the WRES indicators to either work properly or to comply with the Data Protection Act.
CCGs should commit to the principles of the WRES and apply as much of it as possible to their own workforce. In this way, CCGs can demonstrate good leadership, identify concerns within their workforces and set an example for their providers; this is the position NHS Norwich CCG will take.
CCG Commitment to the Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES)
Implementation of the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) is a requirement for NHS Commissioner and NHS Provider organisations.
The NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) was made available to the NHS from April 2015, following sustained engagement and consultation with key stakeholders including a widespread of NHS organisations across England. The WRES is included in the NHS standard contract, and since July 2015, NHS trusts have been producing and publishing their WRES data on an annual basis.
For the first time this year CCGs were also required to submit their individual WRES data to the NHS England Workforce Race Equality standard implementation.
The NHS is founded on a core set of principles and values that bind together the diverse communities and people it serves – the patients and public – as well as the staff who work in it. The NHS Constitution establishes those principles and values of the NHS across England. It sets out the rights, to which all patients, communities and staff are entitled to, and the pledges and responsibilities which the NHS is committed to achieve in ensuring that the NHS operates fairly and effectively. Working towards race equality is rooted in the fundamental values, pledges and responsibilities of the NHS Constitution.
NHS Norwich CCG employs less than 150 members of staff and it therefore not required to produce detailed staff profiles by protected characteristics. This protects the privacy of our employees as any profiles of protected characteristics would allow individuals to be identified.
In fulfilling its duties, the CCG has committed to having due regard to the WRES, and will use it as a force for driving change, both as an employer and as a commissioner of services.
It will be doing this in conjunction with the remaining Norfolk and Waveney CCGs with a view to working toward implementation of a single management team.
This the first year of reporting for the CCGs and an ideal opportunity to look at the wider workforce profiles as the CCGs merge to become one legal entity. This will afford us the opportunity to research how other larger CCGs and employers have developed their processes to ensure that more BME candidates are successful at interview.
The WRES provides real impetus, not just on workforce race equality, but on equality generally, for all those who experience unfairness and discrimination within the NHS. For sustained improvement in this area, the focus will not be upon compliance with implementing the WRES, but on using it as an opportunity to help improve the wider culture of NHS organisations for the benefit of all staff and patients.
The WRES applies to all types of providers of non-primary healthcare services operating under the full length version of the NHS Standard Contract, and so is applicable to NHS providers, independent sector providers and voluntary sector providers.
The NHS standard contract, requires all providers of NHS services (other than Primary Care) to address the issue of workforce race inequality by implementing and using the WRES.
The provider must implement the National WRES and submit an annual report to the co-ordinating commissioner on its progress in implementing that standard.