NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard

Implementing the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) is a requirement for NHS commissioners and NHS provider organisations.

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council announced on 31 July 2014 that it had agreed action to ensure employees from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.

In April 2015, after engaging and consulting with key stakeholders including other NHS organisations across England, the WRES was mandated.

WRES has been part of the NHS standard contract, starting in 2015/16 and included in the 2016/17 NHS standard contract.

NHS trusts produced and published their first WRES baseline data on 1 July 2015 and the first WRES report, which provides analysis and an overview of their data returns, was published in June 2016.

The 2016 WRES report, published on 19 April 2017, shows an improvement in some trusts, although a number of organisations still have a long way to go.

With over one million employees, the NHS is mandated to show progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low numbers of BME board members across the organisation.

Alongside WRES, NHS organisations use the Equality and Diversity Systems (EDS2) to help in discussion with local partners including local populations, review and improve their performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010. By using the EDS2 and the WRES, NHS organisations can also be helped to deliver on the Public Sector Equality Duty.

More information to help you understand the WRES, downloadable information, videos and EDS2 can be found in our resources section.

WRES reporting

Organisations use UNIFY 2, a system for sharing and reporting NHS and social care performance information should be used for the annual WRES returns.

The WRES reporting template is designed to present an overview of the organisation’s latest WRES implementation. Once completed, the report template should be published on the organisation’s website using a unique URL.

Get in touch

If you have questions about the WRES Programme, please contact the National WRES Implementation Team england.wres@nhs.net.