Board admits to diversity failings

 The NHS Commissioning Board has failed to recruit a significant amount of individuals from ethnic or minority backgrounds, it has admitted.

Data supplied by its Human Resources (HR) department showed that early recruits were white males aged in their forties.

Speaking at the Board’s monthly meeting streamed live online, Jo-Anne Wass, HR Director, said the existing recruitment process “does not make for easy reading”.

Research also suggested that the Board did appear to be favouring applicants with disabilities.

“This is a really significant issue,” the HR Director said. “Clearly more needs to be done” to address the problem, she added.

The findings were met with surprise by senior board members. Ed Smith, a Non-Executive Director, said the board should follow the example of the private sector where recruits reflect “the communities we work in”.

Lord Adebowale, also a Non-Executive Director, said the diversity issue was not just about race but “also about culture and brand.” He added that: “It becomes anxiety provoking – this is about how we provide services to the public, and I’m getting anxious about where this might be heading.”

The Commissioning Board said it will now analyse the findings “to get under the data, find what the problem is, and where it’s happening.”