Stop Racism at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

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Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust Targets Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Staff for Exposing Institutional Racism, Fraud, Patient Safety Concerns and Perjury.

Under the current executive management and Trust Board of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH), Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people are being subjected to unprecedented levels of racial discrimination, harassment and victimisation. The BME Network at BSUH NHS Trust has taken the position that it has no confidence in the executive management and the Trust Board and they should step down.

Examples include:

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) report published in 2014 found that racial discrimination and harassment was a major issue for the Trust. The Trust's response was to introduce a Race Equality Engagement Strategy devised by the Chair of the BME Network in her professional role as Associate Director of Transformation.

A grievance brought by a member of staff has led to the Trust appointing the barrister Henrietta Hill QC to re-investigate a charge against the Chair of the BME Network despite a previous external investigator finding that the allegations against her could not be upheld. Ms Hill QC also investigated a grievance brought by eight members of the BME Network and found all eight BME members and the Chair of the BME Network guilty. No other individuals including Trust management were found to have a case to answer. All nine BME staff now face disciplinary. Eight of these nine staff are BME Engagement leads and/or team members in the Engagement Strategy in partnership with the Trust. This is now a matter before the Employment Tribunal (ET) for discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of race and Ms Hill QC is also a named Respondent in the ET claim together with the Trust.

All nine BME staff are being denied their right to appeal against the decision of Ms Hill QC, because the Chairman of the Trust Mr Lee is insisting that he will Chair the appeal with the assistance of HR. The Trust Grievance Policy states that the Chair should be a manager unless agreed otherwise. The Chairman as a Non-Executive Director of the Trust Board is not a manager and all nine BME staff have informed him they do not accept him as the Chair of their appeal.

GMB Union have submitted a FOI request to find out the cost of appointing Henrietta Hill QC to undertake an investigation and await the information.

BME doctors who have highlighted evidence to show Trust officials have committed acts of perjury are now the recipients of a temporary High Court injunction with a High Court hearing planned for w/c 16 November 2015.

BME Network members have met with the CQC to provide evidence of fraud on a wide scale within the Digestive Disease Department following no action from the CEO or NHS Protect. CQC fails to act on disclosed information

BME Network members have also met with the CQC to provide evidence of patient safety issues which have resulted in the premature death of patients given a lack of action by the CEO and Trust Board. CQC fail to act on disclosed information.

CQC report into A/E fails to take on board the division between staff groups in the department along racial lines which have been the subject of internal investigations and have impacted patient care. This being consistent with the direct correlation between racial discrimination and patient safety . CQC also fell short in reporting the reality in the A/E department

A white British consultant who had harassed BME doctors for years was only dismissed when a tape recording revealed his racist comments directed at the doctors.

The Trust Development Authority (TDA) responsible for overseeing the Trust's performance has informed the nine BME staff mentioned above that it cannot intervene to address their concerns, because the matter is subject to internal proceedings.

NHS England has informed the nine BME staff mentioned above that it cannot intervene to address their concerns, because it is a commissioning organisation and not a regulatory body

An FOI request in 2014 revealed that in the last decade the Trust has spent approximately 1.6 million pounds on discrimination cases of which 1.4 million pounds concerns race discrimination. It is estimated that the spend is now well over 2.5 million pounds.

Unprecedented number of grievances lodged by BME staff since the appointment of Matthew Kershaw as CEO in April 2013 with many cases still outstanding.

White British Manager dismissed for racial harassment of a BME staff member  reinstated on the grounds that it was her first offence. Following objections from BME members white British manager was paid to leave the organisation to avoid litigation.

White British Manager who showed a black member of staff a picture of a monkey on her computer and stated "it is monkey" was initially found on investigation to be naive and therefore required Equality and Diversity Training. However, an appeal panel which included a BME judge found that there was a case for the manager to answer and following a disciplinary hearing she was dismissed.

Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) data show numerous examples of institutional racism including:

The percentage of BME staff in Bands 8-9 VSM (including executive Board members and senior medical staff) at 30 June 2015 was 6.6%, compared with 15.2% of BME staff in the overall workforce. This shows that BME staff are under-represented at senior management levels.

In the recruitment process, white people are 26 per cent more likely to be appointed from shortlisting than BME staff.

During the period 2013-2014, BME staff were 10 per cent more likely to enter the disciplinary process than white staff. However, during the period 2014-2015, the proportion of white staff entering the disciplinary process fell sharply, while the proportion of BME staff entering the process remained the same, with the result that BME staff are now more than twice as likely to enter the disciplinary process than white staff.

Although BME staff are proportionately more likely to apply for education funding, applications from white staff are proportionately more likely to be granted funding.

BME nurses are under-represented at middle and senior management paybands and over-represented at Agenda for Change Band 5, which is the entry level payband for a registered nurse. As of September 2014, BME nurses made up 15.3% of all registered nurses employed in the Trust. However, while BME nurses make up 20.9% of Band 5 nurses, they make up only 12.8% at Band 6, 4.6% at Band 7, 4.2% at Band 8a and 7.1% at Band 8b, with no BME nurses employed above Band 8b.

Note: This is not an exhausted list of examples of institutional racism at BSUH NHS Trust.