The Intensive Care Society welcomes the key findings raised by the BMA report on ‘Delivering racial equality in medicine’ and we fully support the recommendations that accompany the report that include:
- being explicit about the need for change: initiatives to achieve racial equality must always be presented with a strong explanation for the need for change and the benefits to the individual and collective (patients and doctors), the organisation and the medical profession
improving racial literacy: medical education must be tailored to meet the needs of the ethnically diverse UK population
- improving reporting processes: employers and managers should listen to staff who experience racial discrimination and have policies in place to support everyone who witnesses and experiences discrimination, bullying and harassment to report it
investment in root cause analysis and evaluation of interventions: all quality assurance measures for employers in the NHS should include consideration of staff experiences and other indicators by ethnicity
- increasing accountability: regulators, all IMG doctors should be given access to appropriate induction at a local level – and access to ongoing support - to ensure patient safety and that IMG doctors have an equal start to their UK practice.
The last few years, dominated by the pandemic, have demonstrated the need to recognise and celebrate racial diversity. We have learned that where ignorance to diversity flourishes, health, social and professional inequalities will persist.
As part of our support for members and the wider intensive care community we continue to represent diversity at all levels including our Council, Executive, Trustees and staff. We are aware that certain professions within intensive care have disproportionate racial diversity and work hard to ensure they have a voice within the Society - reflected as part of our elected Professional Advisory Groups. We have more to do but we are dedicated to making sure we embed long lasting change.
This year we have already put into practice many of the themes in this publication and are explicit in our need for change. Launched in 2021, our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group actively help to improve the racial literacy of the Society alongside other areas of EDI that need to be focussed on. To understand out community better we have an open equality diversity and inclusion census of intensive care, and plan to use these results and the experiences collected to drive change.
As a society we understand that whilst the themes reported by the BMA persist, we expose many of our community to a disproportionate psychological burden. We will continue to provide targeted support through our ‘Thrive at work’ series and wider wellbeing initiatives.
As the world’s oldest intensive care professional body, it is our responsibility to role model behaviour and embed effective and sustainable change. We continue to nurture a culture of racial equality and anti-discrimination being actively practised together and whereby every member of the intensive care team is treated equally no matter their background.
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