“The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) has joined many voices from a range of healthcare organisations that have expressed significant concern over the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s letter sent on 19th October 2023 to NHS commissioners which requested a reduction in spending on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) roles.
The ambulance sector works hard to derive the best value for money from all of its activities, however we disagree that expenditure on EDI roles and initiatives is a poor use of limited funds.
In fact, quite the opposite, progressive EDI work is such a fundamentally important strategic function across all of our member services because it directly affects the wellbeing of staff, which in turn directly affects the quality of healthcare they provide to our patients.
This can be measured in terms of increased patient safety, better clinical outcomes, greater efficiency and productivity and higher quality ratings.
Additionally, staff who are listened to, supported and included are less likely to leave the ambulance service, which is key for retaining staff at a time when we need them most.
Although there is still a great deal more to achieve, EDI is now rightly embedded in the fabric of the ambulance sector and we will continue to support the many positive EDI initiatives that our members work so hard to progress.“