Tackling all forms of racism and inequality following the death of George Floyd

4 June 2020

As an organisation we are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific death of George Floyd in the US. This may be thousands of miles away, but it has a resonance for us all.  At Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, we reaffirm our total opposition of all forms of racism and racial injustice in the UK and everywhere in the world.

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Racism in any form is completely unacceptable. It causes immeasurable harm, especially to people of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. Racism has no place in the NHS or civic society.
The NHS is one of the most diverse organisations in the world and this is our immense strength. But racism and inequality still exists in the NHS, and it exists in our local populations. We must do more to tackle racism and inequality. We know that BAME colleagues are not equally represented at more senior levels of our Trust. We know that bullying and harassment that targets BAME colleagues takes place here, and have seen the trauma that this has caused. Despite these challenges, BAME colleagues are consistently the most engaged group of staff in our workforce. Our strategy sets out how we are working to tackle inequality and discrimination in our organisation.
We are concerned about the disproportionate risk and mortality posed to BAME colleagues and communities from COVID-19 pandemic. Regrettably, it is another example of a health inequality manifesting itself. We are supporting all our BAME staff and have worked with our race equality network to develop a risk assessment to help keep all our at risk colleagues, safe.
As a provider of community and mental health services, we reiterate our commitment to the diverse, vulnerable, and marginalised groups that we will continue advocate loudly for: We will continue to work with you, to ensure you have access to the same quality of care and are not disadvantaged because of race any other form of discrimination.
Paul Draycott,
Director of Workforce, Organisational Development and Communications
Executive Lead for Equality and Diversity

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