Leicester City PCT ... Leadership in Britain’s most diverse city
The 2011 census is likely to confirm that Leicester is the first British city where the majority of people come from black and minority ethnic communities. Yet, there is evidence among BME communities of an inverse correlation between health needs and care received.
So Leicester City PCT faces a challenge, says its Chief Executive, Tim Rideout. 'As leader of the local health system, we must demonstrate responsiveness to the different needs that spring from such diversity.'
'That's why we are among the very first PCTs to appoint an executive director of equality and human rights to our board. The new director, Richard Chester, will challenge every part of the organisation to move the equality and human rights agenda forward. These issues will be addressed with real authority and visibility.'
This appointment recognises that, when diversity responsibilities reside in HR departments, they can sometimes be marginalised and give insufficient priority in relation to the PCT's core responsibility to commission services that meet the needs of the PCT's residents.
Tim Rideout is taking strengthened leadership in this field to the rest of his region. He has been appointed Equality and Human Rights lead Chief Executive for the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority.
'Making breakthroughs on equality and human rights is best achieved,' says Mr Rideout, 'through organisations and peers working together, rather than by the SHA simply imposing change. The nature of Leicester's population makes it vital that we take a lead. I have good networks with other organisations. It's my job to exploit those to move things forward for the whole region.'