Statement from Chair and Chief Executive Officer - Becoming an anti-racist organisation | News and Events

Statement from Chair and Chief Executive Officer - Becoming an anti-racist organisation

21 June 2023  

We are announcing our commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation. As an employer, service provider and educator we will strive to make every effort to understand and influence the wider system and societal factors impacting on mental health racial inequalities. 

Our values of treating people with care and compassion and to respect every individual underpin what we are seeking to achieve in the delivery of our services and through the motivation and support we provide for our workforce.  

The NHS is built on a founding principle of equality and social justice. Racism and discrimination are major drivers behind the health inequalities we still see today. The recent exposure of failings in the standards of care and treatment we provide to people that use our services and those that work here have exposed the difficulties we face.   

It is clear from the evidence we have that our ethnically diverse staff have experienced inequalities in the form of racism. We also know that people from ethnically diverse communities have differential experiences in terms of access and outcomes.   

We recognise that racism is not only based on individual bias but is also present within cultural and social structures and systems and within institutions. Nurturing a culture of equity and inclusion for all is something that requires constant attention and vigilance. The fact that these inequalities are present in our organisation is unacceptable.   

Our Advancing Equality and Inclusion Strategy made a commitment to becoming an anti-discriminatory organisation. This statement goes further and makes clear our commitment to eradicate all forms of racism and discrimination across our organisation.   

To achieve this we must now deeply engage in the work required to move forward and work together to eradicate the causes of discrimination and oppression within our organisation.   

Whilst that responsibility rests with all of us, it starts with the commitments we make and action we take as the most senior leaders in the organisation to tackle structural inequities, discrimination and injustice.  

We are therefore making a clear and unequivocal statement that we will not tolerate racism and discrimination in our organisation and a commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation.  

What does this mean to us?  

Firstly, every member of our board and executive team will have and be accountable for at least one equality related objective as part of their annual appraisal process. Secondly, we will continue to work in partnership with members of our ethnically diverse community and workforce to implement the NHS Patient Carers Race Equality Framework. Whilst we have made some progress in co-producing culturally appropriate services with our community and voluntary partners, we now must look inward. As an organisation we must critically look at everything we do and consider what tools we have at our disposal to become an anti-racist organisation. 

To support this, we will establish an Anti-Racism Steering Group and work with our Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network to co-produce our anti-racism action plan which will support the implementation of the NHS Patient Carers Race Equality Framework and help us drive forward improvements in our Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES).  

As white leaders ourselves it is essential to seek out, listen and acknowledge the experiences of those affected by racism, and then we must lead with pace on putting things right. We will lend our support and our voice to the work of organisations tackling racial inequality, and we will continue with our efforts to ensure we foster a truly anti-racist organisation. 


Bill McCarthy 

 Neil Thwaite  
Chief Executive 
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