The first national review by NHS England has suggests that black and ethnic minority staff are more likely to report being bullied or harassed than their white colleagues.

The report, which covers all NHS trusts in England, calls for attitudes and behaviour to change. NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said the results were "deeply concerning and a clear call to action".

Joan Saddler, who co-chairs the NHS equality and diversity council (EDC), said although trusts had traditionally collected data on staff experiences through local surveys, they had "generally failed to act" on them.For the first time, the EDC has collated data from these surveys to analyse patterns and provide a national picture. The self-reported surveys look at experiences of harassment, bullying and abuse from staff, managers, relatives and patients as well as career opportunities for staff at managerial or board levels.

In one acute trust, where the biggest difference was reported, 41.7% of BME staff reported being harassed, bullied or abused by staff in comparison to 18.2% of white staff.

Some 81% of acute trusts also report a higher proportion of BME staff having personally experienced discrimination from a manager, team leader or colleague than white staff.

In 86% of acute trusts a higher percentage of BME staff said they did not believe their organisation offered equal opportunities for career progression or promotion in comparison with white staff.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said in the report: "We must not be defensive or complacent, but must change our cultures, biases, attitudes and behaviours as well as improve our processes and policies."

NHS England says it will tackle the issue by introducing 75 "champions", who will work with trusts to reduce inequalities.

Mandip Kaur, from health think tank The King's Fund, said: "This research confirms that significant numbers of NHS staff from black or ethnic minority backgrounds still experience more discrimination and bullying in the workplace than their white colleagues.

"This not only affects staff morale and wellbeing, but can impact the quality of care received by patients. We know that the experience of BME staff is a very good barometer of the climate of respect and care within NHS organisations."

The NHS is one of the biggest employers of BME's and these reports help to show the overall experience many face. After reading this article don't stay silent, please,


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