NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard

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.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “The Five Year Forward View sets out a direction of travel for the NHS – much of which depends on the health service embracing innovation, engaging and respecting staff, and drawing on the immense talent in our workforce.

“We know that care is far more likely to meet the needs of all the patients we’re here to serve when NHS leadership is drawn from diverse communities across the country, and when all our frontline staff are themselves free from discrimination. These new mandatory standards will help NHS organisations to achieve these important goals.”

The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) was introduced in April 2015, after engaging and consulting key stakeholders including other NHS organisations across England.

It is now included in 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.

The first WRES report, which provides analysis and an overview of the data returns from NHS trusts, is now available.

The NHS, which employs over a million people, is now required to demonstrate progress against a number of indicators of workforce equality, including a specific indicator to address the low levels of BME board representation.

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.

NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard

WRES reporting

Implementation of the WRES is a requirement on both NHS commissioners and NHS provider organisations. From July 2016, the UNIFY 2, a system for sharing and reporting NHS and social care performance information will be used for the annual WRES return by NHS organisations. However, NHS providers and commissioning organisations should still publish their most recent WRES data.

Organisations can start submitting their 2016 WRES data from 1 July.  The deadline for all submissions is 1 August.

The WRES Reporting Template is designed to present an overview of the organisation’s latest WRES implementation. Once completed by the NHS organisation, the Report Template should be published on the organisation’s website using a unique URL.

WRES guidance and resources

Animated video explaining the WRES

Strategic Advisory Group meetings minutes

WRES update bulletins

The King’s Fund report

Get in touch

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