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Anti-racist Organisation Statement

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) opposes all forms of racism.

This statement expresses our commitment to make meaningful and sustainable change as an employer and service provider to demonstrate our accountability and to be judged on our progress to become an actively anti-racist organisation. This statement applies to staff and patients and will be accompanied by an anti-racist strategy, which will follow.  

Our aim

Our aim is to:

  • adopt measures to proactively and relentlessly address racism experienced by our workforce
  • ensure issues of racial justice and equity are embedded in all aspects of our policy and practice
  • work with our partners in the Birmingham and Solihull (BSol) Integrated Care Board (ICB) who are also committed to tackling racial discrimination

Why is this so important?

Birmingham is one of the first super diverse cities in the UK where citizens from ethnic minorities make up more than half of the population, speaking over 100 languages.

UHB provides services to 2.2 million patients per year and it is important that we serve all communities in an equitable manner in all that we do.

UHB is an anchor institution and key employer of staff from within the local communities of Birmingham, Solihull and beyond. As a public sector organisation it is paramount that we deliver on our duties and stipulate that our Board specifically oppose racism.

We understand and acknowledge the need to actively learn from past failures of public sector organisations in addressing issues related to structural racism. Recent events, including the broader NHS response to the tragic death of George Floyd and cases such as that of nurse Michelle Cox, have underscored the critical importance of undertaking this work. It is evident to us that structural racism poses significant harm to our staff and patients and we are committed to addressing this issue head-on.

Racism is unacceptable and it has no place in health and care. But we know that it exists and that the impact on our colleagues is devastating. We will be held accountable for any discriminative behaviours or actions towards our colleagues, service users or carers.

There is a significant amount of evidence showing that discrimination based on race can have adverse effects on fair recruitment and career advancement. It can also lead to increased staff turnover, decreased effectiveness in team dynamics, compromised patient safety and negatively impact the health and wellbeing of staff.

Health inequalities

The NHS Long Term Plan places health inequalities at the heart of NHS goals for this decade. Furthermore, COVID-19 has shone a harsh light on some of the health and wider inequalities that persist in society.

UHB will work to deliver the five key priority areas set out by NHS England and the Birmingham and Solihull ICB health inequalities strategy. This will begin with our commitment to deliver the Birmingham and Lewisham African and Caribbean Health Inequalities Review (BLACHIR) Taskforce recommendations relating to acute providers.  

Our priorities will also include:

  • Ensuring that UHB develops, delivers and monitors a health inequalities programme of work for the patients it serves
  • Gaining further insight into the known health inequalities that exist within BSol and ensuring that work on health inequalities highlighted in the NHSE Core20Plus5 is incorporated within the UHB approach
  • Ensuring that ethnicity is a key focus alongside deprivation in all six priority areas of our five year Reducing Health Inequalities Strategy, as well as in our ten year ICS Master Plan going forwards
  • Ensuring equal access to our health services, we need to improve our data gathering methods so that we can gain a better understanding of who is using our services. By identifying any barriers that may exist, we can make the necessary adjustments to better serve our disadvantaged and underserved communities

Our next steps

To make UHB a beacon of anti-racism we will:

  1. commit to improve the diversity of the UHB Board and management teams to ensure they are reflective of the super diversity of the populations we serve
  2. support Birmingham to become one of the first anti-racist cities in the UK by committing to a ten year race equality delivery plan for the health sector with annual targets over the next decade
  3. support our black, Asian and ethnic minority colleagues by creating cultures of civility, respect and safety

Immediate actions

  1. UHB’s CEO will lead a dedicated team, working alongside the People and Culture Committee and reporting directly to the Board of Directors, which will lead the development and implementation of the Anti-Racism Strategy and ensure the work is embedded in ‘mainstream’ activities and governance frameworks
  2. We acknowledge that there is currently an underrepresentation of black, Asian and ethnic minority staff at senior levels and will therefore develop and implement a positive action programme of work. We will work alongside colleagues in the Birmingham and Solihull ICB in delivering this work
  3. Invest in an ongoing programme of work focused on improving the experience and wellbeing of our black, Asian and ethnic minority and all staff and patients


We accept that addressing racial injustice will not be comfortable for everyone. The evidence is clear that to address racial injustice we need to focus unapologetically on the issue of race – not because we see people as one-dimensional, but because we know that without such a focus, change cannot happen unless, as a leadership, we commit to leaning into discomfort.

Finally, although this statement is related to race, it does not mean we underestimate in any way the severity of discrimination in relation to the other protected characteristics identified within the Equality Act 2010. Therefore, no form of discrimination is acceptable or tolerated by our Trust.

Last reviewed: 09 August 2023