Research and evaluation

There have been many worthy initiatives regarding the general reduction of racism or development programmes devised to support BME people to gain equality regarding promotion and career progression.

However, there does not appear to be sufficient evidence base to support the effectiveness of any one specific strategy or intervention.

Much more research is necessary, so it would be useful for Midlands organisations to devise and implement innovative interventions.

The MIDAS (Midlands Inclusion and Diversity Award Scheme) welcomes new ideas from any staff across all sectors of our workforce. The proposed annual MIDAS awards will celebrate those ideas. Even where those ideas have been heroic failures. The people that have recently developed our vaccines for Covid-19 have had multiple failures over the year before finally getting it right. That is because finding out ‘what works’ and what does not work often involves many failures on the way.

We know from the WRES and other metrics that there has been slow progress in achieving the results we want to see. However, the People Plan demands that racism is addressed urgently.

Good research initiatives don’t necessarily have to be complex, time-consuming or costly. Often, the simple ideas are game changers.

However, research does demand that before embarking on any new intervention, it is essential to gather ‘baseline’ information and structure the initiative to measure the results accurately. Individuals or teams within organisations need to seek out those that can help develop research so that the results can be tested and validated. Where initiatives work within a team or in an organisation, we can share the results and promote their effectiveness.

Resource and funding for STP/ICS

Organisations within each STP/ICS need to discuss and agree on how much each organisation will contribute to a system pot of funding.

For example, London has agreed to the following:

  • Every trust in London will commit £10,000 per year for 3 years (ending 2022), which is match funded from NHS E/I London budget to total £750k per year.
  • In light of the commitment to bold action, cultural transformation and to deliver their London Race Equality Strategy, they have now agreed to amend the funding model to the following:
  • 10-year funding commitment – 2020/21 to 2030/31
  • Increased Trust contribution to £20k per annum to be reviewed at years 3 and 7
  • Continue match funding at a regional level. The available budget has increased to £1.5million per year

Next steps

The Covid crisis in 2020 has meant that many of us working in the NHS have had to re-prioritise our workloads. In normal circumstances, we would have consulted wider and for longer on this strategy document. However, we consulted before the document was approved on November 23 and have sought further input from systems.

We wrote this strategy to address the urgent and long-term Race Equality and Inclusion priorities in the Midlands. To ensure the entire region owns this strategy, we sought input from all 11 STPs/ICSs. We received valuable and comprehensive feedback, which has been extremely useful, and we are grateful for all feedback received despite the current Covid-19 crisis. However, there has been some criticism that wider consultation is required which is a valid one.

Covid-19 has, unfortunately, had an impact on the consultation process. At the same time, we are aware that longstanding issues race and inclusion issues have been prioritised in the People Plan. The Covid-19 crisis has been devastating and placed a spotlight on health inequalities and wider issues of discrimination facing BME staff.

Therefore, it was felt that a strategy document should be written and actioned as soon as possible. To address the consultation issues and ensure feedback was fully included, we will consider reviewing the strategy in 12 months.