Statement on discrimination, inequality and racism from NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group Chair and Accountable Officer

Our CCG, as an NHS organisation, commissioner of care and as an employer, has an unwavering commitment to tackling racism and inequality – ensuring equity and fairness for all.  It is unacceptable that our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities continue to experience significantly poorer outcomes.  We must respond faster and do more to eliminate this inequality through our commissioning.

The protests in the US and right here in central London in recent weeks demand an end to racism.  The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has rightly ignited anger around the world.  NHS South East London CCG’s position is clear.  We recognise and share this strength of emotion and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign and the fight to end racial discrimination.

Together, we stand with all our colleagues and the wider BAME community in south east London in the fight against racism and social injustice. 

On behalf of the CCG’s Governing Body and Executive Management Team, we would wish to assure our colleagues, patients and the community that there is no place for discrimination at NHS South East London CCG.  This is a priority we had identified in establishing the CCG and the current context has served to further emphasise the importance of the commitments we have made, and the need to work even harder to ensure that equality and fairness are values we consistently demonstrate as an organisation – both in relation to our staff and the people we serve.

We want to make sure that people working here feel our organisation is inclusive, and that people from all cultures and communities can share their experiences and speak out on issues.

These events are happening at the same time as evidence confirms the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on BAME communities in the UK, including the incredibly sad loss of BAME colleagues working in the NHS. The recent Public Health England coronavirus report confirms the inequalities that persist in our country.  It must make us think differently about how we commission care and how we take care of our residents and colleagues, their welfare and wellbeing as individuals and employees.

Addressing inequalities will continue to be a priority in south east London. This was a focus of our response to the NHS Long Term Plan and is the fundamental cornerstone behind our developing recovery plans.  We will remain steadfast in tackling these issues.  We will focus relentlessly on reducing inequalities experienced by our patients and colleagues in south east London, and our governing body is committed to creating tangible actions to progress and promote equality.  We will continue to emphasise the importance of working at borough level with local authority partners and local communities to ensure that the services we commission reflect the needs of our population.

We want this to be more than just a statement of intent but rapidly describe a set of further steps we can take as a CCG to prioritise action. This will be discussed by Governing Body members in July 2020 with the aim to ensure that further steps can be communicated, and critically that steps can be implemented ahead of any further wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Jonty Heaversedge – Chair
Andrew Bland – Accountable Officer