The momentum of the #BlackLivesMatter campaign and anti-racism movement is gathering pace in the UK at the moment. It is helping to shine a light on all areas of life where Black people are treated unequally, and do not have equity in access to services, due to their race.
In the healthcare sector, inequality in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups has been evidenced extensively over the years. Did you know that 1 in 4 BAME people in the UK are unable to access the care they need?
This is unacceptable.
At St Clare Hospice, we believe that everyone has the right to be heard, and cared for, when facing a life-limiting illness, are at the end of their life or are living with bereavement. We are committed to ensuring equitable, accessible care and support to everyone who needs it; regardless of colour, faith, or any other protected characteristic.
Both our wider Hospice and Clinical strategies seek to address inequality for all minority groups represented in our local community. However, although our teams have been working to address this for years preceding recent events, we recognise that we have not made the vital progress we want to achieve and have much more we could be doing.
Our commitment to setting up a dedicated Equality & Diversity working group is our next, important step in effecting real change for our organisation. As part of this, we pledge to:
• Be actively anti-racist, and hold ourselves, and others who work within the practice of palliative and end of life care, accountable for ensuring that racial inequality is a thing of the past.
• Identify and address any inherent bias within our organisation, taking steps to prevent this by reflecting on our service provision, our workforce, our partnering organisations, our systems, policies and processes, and above all, responding to the needs of our diverse communities in which we are here to serve.
• Continue to create and nurture partnerships with both Black and other minority groups, ensuring their voices are raised and heard through consultation and partnership working. We also endeavour to partner with other charities and organisations actively working to effect real change.
We will share more information on our plans, progress and future strategies.. We actively welcome your thoughts, feedback and advice should you wish to share it with us – though we accept full responsibility as your local hospice charity in challenging inequality and making real change happen.
Learn more about inequality in UK healthcare on the Race Equality Foundation website at: raceequalityfoundation.org.uk/category/health-care
For information on inequality in end of life care, read the CQC ‘A different ending: Addressing inequalities in end of life care’ 2016 report at: cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20160505%20CQC_EOLC_OVERVIEW_FINAL_3.pdf