New appointments to tackle race equality across the NHS

NHS England is pleased to announce two senior appointments to ensure employees from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in all NHS workplaces.

Following a competitive selection process, Yvonne Coghill OBE has been appointed as Director, Workforce Race Equality Standard Implementation, and Roger Kline has been appointed as Director, Workforce Race Equality Standard Research and Engagement.

The two new appointments will take forward work on the new Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) which will, for the first time, require organisations employing almost all of the 1.4 million NHS workforce to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low levels of BME Board representation.

Yvonne Coghill, who has more than 20 years experience in nursing, has held a number of operational and strategic leadership posts, and in 2013 she was voted by colleagues in the NHS as one of the top 50 most inspirational women, one of the top 50 most inspirational nurse leaders and one of the top 50 BME pioneers, two years in a row.  She was awarded an OBE for services to healthcare in 2010.

Roger Kline is Research Fellow at Middlesex University Business School, has previously worked for eight trade unions at senior level and played a significant role in developing the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard. He has produced a large body of research on equality including the recent “The Snowy White Peaks of the NHS” (2014) and is an unpaid director of Patients First.  He presented comprehensive evidence with Dr Kim Holt to the 2015 Francis Speak Out Review on bullying in the NHS and the treatment of black and minority ethnic whistleblowers.

NHS England Director of Policy, John Holden said: “Much of the Five Year Forward View depends on the health service embracing innovation, engaging and respecting staff, and drawing on the immense talent in our workforce.

“We have overwhelming evidence that engaging and including all members of staff improves patient satisfaction, patient safety and helps provide high quality patient care.

“I am delighted to welcome Yvonne and Roger to these posts, which will implement the WRES and in doing so will help the NHS begin to address the gap in equality and help the NHS become an employer of choice.”