Leicester City PCT
Fifty-two per cent black and ethnic minority population / Predominantly Asian (44 per cent) with black or black British the second largest minority (4 per cent) / Leicester has a population of 279,921 / The Indian population, many of whom fled east Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, is the largest outside London / In some wards, up to 75 per cent of people are Indian.
Our BME population faces big issues…
Engagement: Surveys tell us that the community does not feel that it has real influence on the PCT yet, so a key challenge is to foster effective engagement.
Empowerment: The community does not feel empowered with relevant information and it does not feel it has the relevant networks to access services.
Literacy and language: We have a significant part of the population whose first language is not English. The majority of the BME population are Hindu Gujarati. There are much smaller pockets of Somali people plus African-Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. Some of these groups face challenges with language.
Community services: People feel that there are a lack of community-based health services, especially for mental health and diabetes.
Our workforce needs…
Good understanding: It is vital that our staff understand the implications of how race equality works and its impact on service delivery and improvement. We need greater cultural competence in meeting the diverse cultural, faith and ethnic needs of our diverse population. It is not always easy to achieve this at times given the diversity of our staff and of our client group.
Career development: BME staff want greater access to career development and training opportunities. They are often excluded from the informal staff networks. The majority are located at the lower levels of the organisation.
More role models: There is a lack of BME role models in senior positions in the organisation. About 36 per cent of staff are from BME communities. At middle and senior management level there is reasonable BME presence. However, at the top level, there is only one BME assistant director.
Commissioning raises issues…
Voluntary sector capacity: Some BME voluntary groups feel they are unsupported and cannot bid for large commissioning contracts. The PCT needs to build their capacity to compete. Their services are vital in areas such as mental health where larger organisations struggle with issues of cultural competence.
Procurement: We are working with our prccurement colleagues to raise their awareness of the requirements of equalities legislation to achieve better outcomes for our BME communities.
BME involvement: The thrust of policy development is towards commissioning a patient-led NHS using practice-based commissioning. But BME communities are insufficiently empowered to be effectively involved in this process.
We’re proud of…
Black staff network: Establishing the black staff network and the external reference group, which engages with the local communities. This provides a mechanism whereby local BME community organisations can scrutinise our policies, procedures and services to make sure they are responsive to BME communities. The black staff network looks at training and development for black staff.
Cervical screening: We have improved take-up among Somali women as part of a broader project to improve the take-up of screening across our population groups.
Mosaic: Mosaic is a Department of Health pilot project promoting race equality in procurement. We will be training our procurement team in the requirements of race equality legislation. We have base line data on our existing suppliers, detailing, for example, their current ethnic makeup. We are working to ensure that tier 1 suppliers implement equalities legilsation.
We will introduce sustained work on mentoring and coaching our BME staff,building on a current pilot. We want to ensure that an effective internal structure exists within the PCT to performance manage equalities work, enabling the engagement of key stakeholders, including our local community and staff. A key priority is also to acquire robust ethnic monitoring data that will inform service improvement.
Equality and Human Rights Manager