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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The current demographics of the mental health support workforce are quite distinct from the NHS as a whole. Compared with all NHS staff, the workforce have a greater number of both Black/Black British staff and male staff.

Little is known about some other protected characteristics such as pregnancy, maternity and gender reassignment status or other demographic factors such as socioeconomic status.

Promoting a more diverse workforce can help ensure a sufficient and sustainable supply of clinical support staff.

A diverse workforce also means it is likely to be representative of communities that are particularly disadvantaged within the present system.

Untapped? Understanding the mental health clinical support workforce, Nuffield Trust 2021, p.9.

Why is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) important for the mental health support workforce?

Having a diverse and inclusive workforce not only helps tackle health inequalities but also helps in creating a culture where everyone is valued and respected.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the disadvantages and health inequalities faced by those from different backgrounds and the NHS has committed to being an inclusive employer, with the People Plan 2020/21 setting out a vision to be an employer that reflects the diversity of the communities it serves.

Greater diversity brings benefits such as efficient services, quality of care, meeting statutory and contractual requirements as well as workforce supply. Use these benefits to give authority to business cases or when championing for the mental health support workforce – they potentially hold the diversity that with the right progression can be built into other staff groups. The Nuffield Trust have produced an excellent diagram that summarises these to help you.

There are also some helpful infographics from NHS Employers that will help you raise awareness and understanding of issues including ethnicity, disability, and improving race equality.

Using this toolkit to support Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

This toolkit touches on diversity throughout, use the list here to navigate to them.