An Anti-Racist National Health Service : The Future of EDI roles
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Copyright (c) 2022 Nitin Shrotri, Evelyn Mensah, Indranil Chakravorty MBE PhD FRCP
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
It is beginning to be recognised beyond a cohort of social research scholars that to achieve fairness and justice in society; it is no longer enough to make noises about bias and discrimination but to take a bold anti-racist stance. The brave among scholars and influencers are urging those in power to move from window-dressing to being active anti-racists. This can have dire consequences for those making their views known. Society, including large behemoth organisations such as the UK National Health Service (NHS), does not have a legacy of protecting whistle-blowers or providing a psychologically safe space for honest discourse. Such opinion leaders are likelier to be seen as troublemakers and moved to the fringes.
With another reorganisation of NHS England, and also in the name of cost efficiency, a rationale is being presented to scrap the role of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) champions from the organisation. In a civic society, such moves are usually dressed up as progression or as an improvement. One such argument is that the organisation is now mature enough for the role of EDI to become ‘business as usual’, thus incorporated in the skillset of every leader. Is there any truth in such a belief? Is it safe to presume that organisations (i.e. NHS) and society are now mature enough from a social justice perspective that EDI is now a core business? This article will review the evidence and explore both sides of the hypothesis.
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