NHS equality, diversity and inclusion improvement plan actions

Publication reference: PRN01002


  • Regional directors
  • Regional directors of workforce and organisational development


  • Integrated care board and trust:
    • chief executives
    • chairs
    • chief people officers

Dear colleague

NHS equality, diversity and inclusion improvement plan actions

Five months after we published the NHS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Improvement Plan, which was positively received across the NHS, I thought I would get in touch about next steps.

To support you to deliver the plan, version two of the dashboard has been launched on the Model Health System. It includes the latest WRES/WDES metrics as well as EDI related data from the National Education and Training Survey. Staff survey data on the wellbeing of internationally recruited staff is also expected in the coming weeks.

In my discussions with providers and regional teams it is encouraging that a lot of work is going on to implement the plan. As part of those discussions, I agreed to send a reminder about what we said we would deliver by March 2024.

High impact action one

  • Every board and executive team member must have EDI objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound (SMART) to be assessed during their annual appraisal.
  • NHS boards must review relevant data to establish areas of concern and prioritise action, with progress monitored via the Board Assurance Framework.

High impact action three

  • Implement the Mend the Gap review recommendations for medical staff and develop a plan to apply those recommendations to other senior colleagues.
  • Analyse data to understand pay gaps by protected characteristic and put in place an improvement plan for sex and race.
  • Implement a flexible working policy including advertising options in recruitment campaigns.

High impact action five

  • Ensure international recruits receive clear communication, guidance and support on conditions of employment, including immigration policy, conditions for accompanying family members, financial commitment, and future career options before they join.
  • Create comprehensive onboarding programmes for international recruits, drawing on best practice.
  • Give international recruits access to the same training, development and career progression opportunities as the wider workforce.

High impact action six

  • Review data by protected characteristic on bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence, with reduction targets set and plans to improve staff experience in place. 
  • Review disciplinary and employee relations processes. Where the data shows inconsistency around protected characteristics immediate steps must be taken to improve this.

The EDI Improvement Plan is about improving the experience of our people, benefiting retention and attracting new talent to help deliver the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.

I look forward to continuing our work together and hearing about progress on this important agenda.

Please let me know if you think there is more we could be doing to help, or if you have any great ideas we can share.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Navina Evans CBE, Chief Workforce, Training and Education Officer, NHS England.