11th November 2016

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HealthChat - Xmas Special
Simon Stevens
In conversation with Roy Lilley
6th December - King's Fund - Details here.
Is it me?
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
Tuesday's FT (-walled) reported three of the world's largest asset managers have shared data on the ethnic diversity of their workforce.

It is the first time they have done this.  The Capital Group, M&G and Legg Mason have revealed statistics on the proportion of staff who come from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Another 40 fund houses will be asked to start gathering data on diversity as part of the 'The Diversity Project' launched in London on Tuesday.

As part of a wider study, participating companies will poll a total of 2000 staff, chosen at random, on diversity issues. The results will be published in spring next year.

Big City organisations are starting to take inclusion and diversity seriously.  Last week Anglo-American published a landmark report on ethnic diversity in corporate Britain and called for an end to all-white boards by 2021.

BAME groups represent 14% of the UK population but only 1.5% of FTSE 100 directors.

Despite some high profile efforts including Roger Kline's 'Snowy White Peaks' report, the NHS fares little better.  We are still to find our tipping point.

As the NHS plunges deeper into debt, is regulated out of existence and swamped with demand, the priorities of day to day survival overwhelm the management agenda.  

We get on and do what we do in the hope that we aren't asked to do anymore.  

There is a risk of 'diversity fatigue'... this thing becoming just one more thing.

The NHS is facing a time when it will make some of the most difficult decisions in its history.  It is down sizing, circling the wagons, becoming more concentrated but in most places, up and down the country, it is still likely to remain the biggest employer.

The best safeguard the NHS can have against public rows about service reconfiguration is to involve the public.

Organisations cannot hope to be able to embrace the diversity of public thinking, about change and its consequences, without mirroring the communities they serve.   Of all the shapes and forms that inequality comes in, inequality in participation must be the most corrosive.  

Powerlessness corrupts, voicelessness corrodes.

Aside from language difficulties, there are issues in perception and a simple understanding of how the system works.  People are more likely to accept change if the changes are being shepherded and led by people who are like them.  Building public trust.

Helena Morrissey and Andrew Haldane, writing in the  FT make a good point; 

The Diversity Project is not about denying people a distinct identity, nor allowing women into men's clubs... it is about recognising and embedding in organisational practice the huge potential in diverse thought, experience and background to make sure we can tackle the pressing challenges we face.

If we are honest, we all know, there is an ugly undertone to this topic.  The words that no one wants to use.  Prejudice, preconception, ignorance and 'I'm white and I'm alright'.

The concept that 'I want to be with people like me' is powerful.  That's why Poms head for Sidney!  Self segregation.  

'I want to be looked after by people like me'; is why I want to tell my woes to an old grumpy GP and not a bright young lady starting out on her primary care career.  Is that ok?  When does preference become prejudice?

What is not ok is to run organisations that do not reflect the communities we serve.  Organisations that can't give us those preferences.

The NHS employs more women than men, looks after more women that men, with more carers who are women than men.  Tell me; why are more board members men than women?

Why aren't boards composed of women and men that reflect the diversity of the communities they serve?  BAME citizens and colleagues are hugely under-represented.

The answer is we are lazy, thoughtless, insecure and don't challenge ourselves to look at the world though any eyes but our own. 

At times of change we miss an opportunity if the community of our workplace and boardrooms are not a mirror image of the communities we are asking to trust us with change.

We have to have hard conversations with ourselves; recognise the similarities we share and recognise power is a privilege.  Where we see prejudice, challenge it.  

Each of us harbours unique biases, based on upbringing, culture and schooling.  We have to ask ourselves the tough question; is it them or is it me?

Have a good weekend.
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Dr Phil's Health Revolution
Our very own 
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is back on tour 

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Be sure not to miss this!
Always hysterical and very hard hitting.  Be careful not to sprain a chuckle muscle!
Must go. I'll see you at one of the shows; buy me a sherbert?

Simon Stevens
6th December
Selling out fast.  Be quick!
King's Fund
This is what I'm hearing;
if you know different,
tell me here
>>  I'm hearing - Chief Executive of the social enterprise, Central Surrey Health has quit; days after they have been warded a pretty big contract but with (as I understand it) very tight margins. 
>>  I'm hearing - the BMA want a 2% pay-rise for GPs!  You have to laugh!
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