5 February 2021 – NHS Non-Executive Directors webinar

05 February 2021

This week’s session opened in conversation with special guest Faisal Hussain, a non-executive director at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

Faisal said: “Some trusts have come through the pandemic and learnt a lot about race and health inequalities in this country. The pandemic has very cruelly highlighted the disparities and disproportionate impact faced by some in our communities. Have we responded quickly enough to these issues? In some cases we have but in many cases we have not and are still behind the curve.

“We are still trying to look for solutions and the vast majority of the solutions exist both within our staff grouping and patient user groupings but more crucially within our communities.

“My membership of the Seacole group has been invaluable. I was the only BAME board member at my trust when I joined and speaking to colleagues on the Seacole group it was often that we were lone voices. The Seacole group is about being able to support each other and this was incredibly powerful. It was useful to share experiences within the group and see what is working well on other trusts and try new practices.”

Also overheard during the webinar:

“A key milestone within our trust was inviting BAME network members to the board meeting about a year ago to hear their lived experiences. This further triggered absolute board commitment to responding to BAME issues and I think this has been well developed through the pandemic.”

“I think we must acknowledge that issues around trust with BAME colleagues is firstly fed by the general lack of trust felt by all society in our political and business leaders worldwide. Secondly, unfortunately many trusts are still better at words than they are at actions. For example, risk assessing is a starting point but what does the trust do to mitigate the additional risks of BAME staff? If it is not believed that actions will be taken, trust will never be achieved.”

“These issues are not for our BAME colleagues to solve, they are for our board to solve. We also had someone come to our board and describe their lived experience, which was really powerful to raise the profile and put it squarely on the boards agenda so we were not just listening and hearing but acting. We can always describe the problem but the important thing is what we do and how we act.”

These meetings are by invitation and are open to all NHS non-executives directors, chairs and associate non-executive directors of NHS providers. Others may attend by special invitation. For further details, visit our website https://www.good-governance.org.uk/events/.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about these webinars, please contact: events@good-governance.org.uk