Covid-19 and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities

A statement from our Board of Directors about the impact of Covid-19 upon Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff, patients, families, carers and our local communities is at the heart of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The emerging national evidence about the impact of Covid-19 upon Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities is a particular cause for concern. This shines a light on our responsibility - both as an employer and a provider of mental health and learning disability services to our local communities - to address inequality of experience and promote inclusion in everything we do. This is a responsibility we take extremely seriously.

As a Board, we are committed to taking concerted, timely and focused action on this issue. Specifically, we have:

  • continued to collect and use Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) data - alongside Workforce Disability Equality Standard WDES data - to reiterate and amplify the case for diversity in decision making at every level of our organisation
  • published an equality and human rights assessment (EHRIA) on our command structures to ensure diversity of representation and thought in our decision making and action
  • identified a non-executive to lead scrutiny and assurance of the steps above, informed by our staff networks
  • agreed we will engage our local partners - such as health and wellbeing boards / healthwatch and community groups - to support community engagement and public accountability for our actions, alongside our NHS and Local Authority partners, within our local health and care system.

We are very mindful of the concern everyone is feeling during these difficult times in relation to Covid -19. We have published this statement about our BAME communities because this is an issue which requires particularly pressing attention, scrutiny and action from us as a Board. We do so in full knowledge that further, specific responses are likely to be needed in order to safeguard the wellbeing of other potentially vulnerable groups.