Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group

Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council announced on the 31st July 2014 that it had agreed action to ensure employees from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.

NHS England have mandated WRES for all NHS commissioners, and their larger provider partner organisations (where the combined contract value exceeds £200K pa) from April 2015.

An action plan to look at some of the learning from this year’s report has been approved: 

  • To introduce unconscious bias learning into the organisation to improve perceptions around recruitment;
  • Establish a channel of communication between BME staff and the governing body to cultivate a culture of mutual understanding around some of the WRES indicators;
  • Ensure that job vacancy lists are widely publicised within our diverse contacts and that conversations around development opportunities or lack of, are carried out.

The main purpose of the action plan is to take a proactive view in improving on last year’s report. The governing board lead on E&D will be championing the WRES in line with his other responsibilities.


Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “The Five Year Forward View sets out a direction of travel for the NHS – much of which depends on the health service embracing innovation, engaging and respecting staff, and drawing on the immense talent in our workforce.

“We know that care is far more likely to meet the needs of all the patients we’re here to serve when NHS leadership is drawn from diverse communities across the country, and when all our frontline staff are themselves free from discrimination. These new mandatory standards will help NHS organisations to achieve these important goals.”

Roger Kline, Research Fellow at Middlesex University Business School, who led the development of the standard, said:

“The evidence is clear that treating all healthcare staff fairly and with respect is good for patient care.  When black and minority ethnic staff, who make up a large minority of nurses, doctors and other NHS staff, are treated fairly it improves patient experience and patient safety. The Workforce Race Equality Standard encourages, and where necessary requires, all NHS providers to treat all black and minority ethnic staff fairly and ensure their full talents are used. It is good news for patients and for staff that NHS organisations have adopted this ground breaking evidence-based approach”.

The CCG's 2016 WRES report can be found by clicking here .

The WRES technical guidance document and all other WRES resources are available via the following link. Further information can be found by following the link here to the NHS England WRES webpage.

If you have any queries, please contact Dave Corbin, Equality and Diversity Lead.