05 June 2020
In recent weeks I have been discussing with colleagues about the power of collaboration. This week, the issue capturing global attention stems from the complete opposite. I would like to express my horror at the recent incident in Minneapolis, that led to the death of George Floyd.
What happened, caught on camera and shared globally, is beyond humanity. It was a sickening abuse of power that was felt across the world, flying in the face of everything West London NHS Trust, the NHS as a whole and a civilised society should stand for.
Clearly, discrimination remains a thorn in the side of society.
Black Lives Matters protestors have taken to the streets this week to highlight the issue of structural inequalities and power differentials that exist in the US and in the UK. Colleagues in our Trust have quite rightly expressed their frustration and anger, combined with support and solidarity to one another, on the divide represented by the tragic George Floyd incident.
47% of our Trust workforce are from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, but 100% of us should be united in confronting the issue.
The characteristic of West London NHS Trust in which I take most pride is its diversity. It’s one of the things that we are known for, it’s one of the things that attracted me to working here and it’s one of the things that people outside of the Trust ask me about regularly.
Our Trust is currently undertaking a programme of work to support BAME colleagues through the Covid-19 crisis. An issue that was further highlighted by Public Health England’s report about the inequalities BAME communities continue to face.
We’ve completed piloting and are now rolling out risk assessments for all staff, focused on vulnerable groups, including colleagues from BAME communities. The Trust Board considered a paper on this work at our last meeting last month which includes both an analysis of issues and actions to be taken forward.
We are not complacent at West London NHS Trust but there is much work to be done. Now is the time our Trust value of togetherness is what we should be living and breathing more than ever.