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Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) has become the first NHS organisation to qualify to use the RACE (Reporting Action Composition Education) Equality Code Quality Mark, following assessment.

The new code has been developed  to help organisations take action to improve race equality within the workplace. The Race Equality Code draws learning and recommendations outlined in reports, charters, and pledges, with the aim of supporting organisations who are actively tackling diversity and inclusion challenges. It was launched in October last year as part of Black History Month 2020 by Dr Karl George MBE and a national steering group of experts in governance and racial inequalities.

To qualify to display the mark, the Trust had to go through an in-depth assessment and develop an action plan to demonstrate that it encourages racial equality amongst its workforce and is actively improving internal measures.

As part of the assessment process and before they are granted use of the mark, organisations must show that they meet the standards for each of the RACE principles and have an action plan to tackle areas of improvement. A RACE action plan will include measures for publicly reporting on progress, improving HR practices, increasing diversity at senior levels and educating staff on racial inequality.

Speaking about the accreditation, Karen Barnard, Director of People and Organisational Development, said: “We are so pleased to have been awarded the use of the RACE Code Quality Mark. As an organisation which employees over 6,600 members of staff drawn from a variety of backgrounds, it is vital that we place equality and diversity at the heart of our plans in order to better reflect the needs of our communities in Doncaster, Bassetlaw and beyond.

“As a Trust, we are committed to promoting inclusions across all of our varied specialities and specialisms, taking steps to raise awareness of any disparities within our own organisation, to create a better workplace for all.

“Gaining the use of this Quality Mark is just one step upon our journey, and as we recover from the pandemic we will continue to deliver on our RACE action plan which we, ultimately, believe will aid us in our overall vision of providing the safest care in England, and to be outstanding in all that we do.”

Suzy Brain England OBE, Chair of the Board, said: “We are committed to being an inclusive employer, and believe that the RACE Code will support us to deliver the highest standards in recruitment, promotion and the development of our employees.

“From the work we do with schools (encouraging pupils to look at health careers) and in our recruitment to all roles, and the development of our individuals, we want everyone to achieve their aspirations and employ a workforce that mirrors the diverse communities we serve. We worked closely with Dr George from the very inception of the Code and we are now the first NHS organisation to be accredited, of which I am very proud.”

In the past year, the Trust has strengthened its commitment to fairness within the organisation, appointing Kirby Hussain as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, whilst a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network has been established.