Westminster Health Forum

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Tackling ethnic minority inequality in health and social care - improving care outcomes, learning from COVID-19, addressing underlying factors, and priorities for leadership and the workforce

December 2020


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will consider the next steps for tackling ethnic minority inequality across healthcare - for those working in the sector and those using its services.


With a contribution from the Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch MP, the discussion is bringing stakeholders together with key policy officials who are due to attend from DHSC; the MHRA; the Cabinet Office; DWP; BEIS; DfE; the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office; HMRC; the NAO; HMPPS; UKRI; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.


The agenda:


  • Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the ethnic minority community, and priorities for improving health outcomes
  • The health and social care response to inequality through the pandemic and taking forward new initiatives
  • Understanding the data and risk factors for COVID-19 in ethnic minority groups
  • Wider health inequalities faced by people in ethnic minorities - addressing underlying factors, and the role of COVID-19 recovery strategies in supporting long-term change
  • Tackling COVID-19 health inequalities for ethnic minority groups
  • Priorities for providing leadership in tackling health inequalities in the workforce
  • Providing support to the ethnic minority health workforce and taking forward key learnings from COVID-19
  • Next steps for action in race disparity in healthcare

The context at a glance:


  • the NHS People Plan - its measures for equality, inclusion and diversity, including around:
    • recruitment, wellbeing, leadership and governance, and regulation
    • building confidence to speak up, with commitments to launch a training programme for Freedom to Speak Up Guardians and Workforce Race Equality Standard experts
  • the pandemic - PHE’s COVID-19: understanding the impact on BAME communities report, and SAGE and Independent SAGE evidence reviews into why ethnic minority groups are at greater risk
  • Ethnic disparities and inequality in the UK: call for evidence - from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities with health as one of its four main areas of focus
  • Updating ethnic contrasts in deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19), England and Wales - latest data from the ONS on infections and fatalities
  • the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities - established to review inequalities in areas including health, employment and education, and due to report by the end of the year
  • the NHS Race and Health Observatory - which will work to identify and tackle the health challenges facing people with ethnic minority backgrounds
  • NIHR establishes a Race Equality Public Action Group - focused on public partnership to strengthen understanding of, and advise on, race inequality in health and social care research
  • Inquiry into racial inequality in health and social care workplaces - the EHRC to seeking to understand structural racial inequality exposed by the pandemic and improve outcomes in all sectors

The discussion in detail:


The impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minority communities, and the health and social care response


  • the Government response to the pandemic - including the position of ethnic minority groups on the priority list for vaccines
  • Mitigation of risks of COVID-19 in occupational settings with a focus on ethnic minority groups - assessing the  recent recommendations from PHE, the FOM and HSE
  • priorities for the NHS Race and Health Observatory - and assessing findings from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities
  • new approaches and initiatives - the health and social care response to the impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minority communities, and what can be learned to scale up best practice
  • use of data - to improve understanding of ethnic minority inequalities experienced during the pandemic, as well as how to build up and improve health data by ethnicity
  • Independent Sage recommendations - on risk assessments, mitigation strategies, support for migrants including safeguards over sharing their data, strategy co-production with affected groups, tackling health and employment inequalities, and for all NHS trusts to conduct reviews on racial discrimination
  • how to ensure that COVID-19 recovery strategies can secure long-term change - and address the underlying factors behind wider health inequalities experienced by ethnic minority communities

Tackling wider health inequalities experienced by the ethnic minority community


  • priorities for research - improving understanding of the social determinants of health in ethnic minority groups, including the impact of historic racism, and racial bias in data collection and planning
  • mitigating risk and improving outcomes - including inclusion of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in clinical trials, and targeted public health messaging
  • tackling racial discrimination within health and social care services - and improving the working lives of ethnic minority healthcare staff
  • addressing underlying factors - including housing and employment

Leadership and tackling ethnic minority inequalities in health workforce


  • providing effective leadership - tackling racial inequality in the workforce, including issues highlighted by the experience of COVID-19, as well as wider disparities
  • implementation of the NHS People Plan - focussing on support for the minority ethnic health workforce
  • progress in the Workforce Race Equality Standard and ensuring fair treatment and equal opportunities for staff from ethnic minority backgrounds

Policy officials attending:


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons, and officials from DHSC; the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency; the Cabinet Office; DWP; BEIS; the Department for Education; the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office; the Government Legal Department; HM Revenue and Customs; the National Audit Office; the Office of Statistics Regulation; the Prison and Probation Service; the Crown Prosecution Service; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***


  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles