In Summer of 2020 the school was sent an open letter asking us to do more to ensure more Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic trainees are represented, and all trainees can tackle covert and systemic racism within healthcare science and society.
In the letter they had five main requests for the National School. Click on the requests below to see the response from the School.
1 - Disclose the diversity and ethnicity of total and successful applicants for each specialty and cohort
Through the National School of Healthcare Science Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee we have created a dedicated data working group. The group have established some objectives to assist with prioritising data, how we publish data and how can we improve our processes based on our findings. As priority, we intend to publish the recruitment data on our website with relatively more information than previous years, whilst ensuring we are not compromising the anonymity of individuals on the programme. Data for other work streams will also be looked into, but in the meantime recruitment data for previous years is available on the website.
2 - Disclose how interviewers are selected, and how many were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds in each of the cohort years
The School does not individually select stakeholders to be a part of the recruitment process. During the expression of interest process employers provide stakeholders to participate in recruitment interviews and shortlisting.
In previous years we did not keep record of our stakeholder’s diversity information, After the 2021 recruitment cycle the school distributed an E and D survey to all known stakeholders in order to obtain this information. The survey is optional, and we will have to rely on individual’s to be responsive. This will allow us to have more of an idea of which stakeholders are from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background and we hope to continue to track this and increase the quantity of data held in the future.
3 - Add anti-racism training and unconscious bias training as a prerequisite to performing interview duties
In August 2021 the schools educational training manager published anti-racism training called Conscious Inclusion which can be found on our website . This is available to our stakeholders, trainees, school colleagues and anyone who visits the website.
In addition, we actively promote this training resource in our webinars such as STP/HSST/ETP inductions, train the trainer events and in our communications to encourage stakeholders to access before they participate in school recruitment and assessment events. This training has also been received by the Health Education England E, D&I managers who also encourage the wider workforce to participate in.
4 - Incorporate anti-racism training to the MSc Professional Practice module and extend current Professional Practice competencies to include trainee reflections on racial discrimination
The STP curriculum has been reviewed and changes made to ensure all trainees receive training on equality, diversity, health inequalities and the impact of culture. These vitally important areas feature in the Professional Foundations of Healthcare and Clinical Science core module.
Competency 6 focuses on this:
- Review a departmental process and patient pathway for equity of access and inclusivity, considering NHS principles and values, and make recommendations for actions.
Things to be considered as part of this competency, and others, include:
- access to healthcare and health inequalities and outcomes
- inclusive practice
- unconscious bias
- culture and values
- equality legislation and guidance
The academic content also includes learning about protected characteristics, unconscious bias, respecting differences, and health inequalities amongst others and includes this academic learning outcome:
- Critically evaluate the principles of patient centred care applied to healthcare in the NHS including approaches to managing health which aim to promote wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.
This new STP curriculum will be used by trainees starting in 2022 onwards.
5 - Facilitate a collaborative meeting with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic trainee representatives and members of NSHCS to support policy changes
Members of the School actively work with the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic scientist trainee network, we have created a space for us to meet periodically throughout the year, discuss items on an agreed agenda and It is an opportunity for trainees bring to our attention any concerns. The school also utilises this space to remain transparent with trainees and keep them up to date with any progress made on our end. This collaboration has helped us to identify our main common objectives and ensure we are all working together for improvements to our processes.
In addition to the changes implemented in response to the open letter we were keen to develop initiatives. We developed this equality, diversity and inclusion section to allow transparency with what we are doing at the School, identify committee members, provide contact details and valuable resources.
Inclusive focused activities and conversations at our weekly School meetings, encourage colleagues to present topics that they relate to or feel inspired to share. Some of the topics covered include:
- ‘Hello my name is…’
- black history month
- autism awareness
- ramadan celebrations
- jewish celebrations
- earth day
This has allowed us to connect with each other, create honest, healthy, open conversations and identify, share and celebrate our similarities and differences. The intention was to help minimise any unconscious biases we may have due to lack of knowledge and as a result consider how these could also affect our service users.
We also introduced a requirement to include a minimum of two equality, diversity and inclusive interview questions when interviewing for new vacancies at the School. Committee members created a bank of questions for interviewers to choose from and adapt if necessary. Interviewing managers are also aware that they must include a committee member on the interview panel. This is to ensure that there is someone representing and upholding the committee’s values.
We have shared this initiative with our Health Education England colleagues so they can consider including it in their processes.