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A local NHS trust is encouraging its staff to stand up against racism.

Friday, 22 October, 2021
A local NHS trust is encouraging its staff to stand up against racism.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has held a virtual event for staff as part of Show Racism the Red Cards’, ‘Wear Red Day’ with support from local celebrities.

As part of Black History Month, ‘Wear Red Day’ on 22 October, is an opportunity to raise awareness around racial abuse and harassment, raise funds and support the trust’s BAME staff members.


The live event took place virtually to allow Northumbria staff from across the region to attend from their base site, meaning more people than ever before were able to take part.


Former Newcastle United footballer, Shaka Hislop, as well as famous author and nurse, Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, joined the event, to discuss their personal experiences, and raise awareness. They also used the opportunity to share the story of their fight against racism and set out what they will continue to do.


Gary Bennett, a former Sunderland AFC defender and head coach for Show Racism the Red Card, said “I want to take this opportunity to thank Northumbria Healthcare for their support on Wear Red Day 2021. The funds we raise will be invested back into anti-racism education, helping us to change lives and change minds.”


Sir James Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust adds: “Black History Month and Wear Red Day has given us all an opportunity to celebrate our diverse staff groups and learn something about the different cultures that contribute to our success.


“Northumbria is committed to ensuring that no one person’s experience is influenced by prejudice – either as one of our staff members or our patient accessing our health and care services.


“It’s important that we make sure staff are aware that we do not accept discrimination of any kind towards our BAME colleagues or patients and that we will act to address any instances of discrimination.”


In 2020 the trust joined healthcare leaders across the region and signed a promise to ensure fairness for all and embedding a culture where people can thrive no matter what their race, background, or personal experience.


Alongside the event, the trust has encouraged staff to support the national day as well as Black History Month, with hospital libraries including resources, as well as transforming staff canteen menus to include dishes from a variety of cultures.


The results from the 2021 NHS Staff Survey highlight the trusts commitment to creating a safe and inclusive workplace. Staff rated Northumbria the highest for equality, diversity, and inclusion, morale, and staff engagement nationally, with 94% saying that the trust acts fairly in regards to career progression, regardless of ethnic background, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age.


In addition. the trust’s WRES (workforce race equality standard) 2021 results show they have reduced the gap in inequality, between BAME and white staff experience in the last 12months, improving reporting systems for abuse, bullying, and harassment and changes to recruitment processes to make them more inclusive.