The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) has formally committed to encouraging the improvement of workforce equality across all UK ambulance services by pledging firm support for NHS England’s Work Force Race Equality Standards (WRES).
All NHS ambulance trusts in England have made commitments to improving indicators that cover the number of BME staff in the workforce, job shortlist and appointment rates, and abuse and harassment or bullying from patients, members of the public and colleagues.
Whilst the NHS WRES are specific to England, AACE members from other parts of the UK can mirror the learning from this work and begin to improve life for BME staff in their own organisations.
Martin Flaherty OBE, Managing Director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, said:
The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives is committed to any proactive initiative that can help improve the working lives of black and ethnic minority staff in the ambulance service.
If it helps lead to consistently transparent recruitment processes, equal access to non-mandatory and mandatory personal development, greater promotion prospects and better career progression for this vital part of our workforce, then it is a commitment worth making and we are delighted to support it and to work closely with the NHS England WRES teams going forward to ensure it is successful.
The NHS WRES were introduced to the NHS Standard Contract in April 2015 and aim to highlight differences in the experiences and opportunities available to, and the treatment of, white and black and minority ethnic (BME) staff – with a view to reducing the gap.
Tracy Myhill, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service and the diversity and inclusion lead for AACE said:
This is a watershed moment for ambulance services as we have made a joint and determined commitment to improve the experiences of our black and minority ethnic colleagues. Equality in our ranks does not only make us fair and attractive employers, but also excellent healthcare providers. We serve diverse communities and our workforce should reflect this. Over the coming years, we will reflect the ethos and equitable NHS to which we all belong.