I read with interest your report on NHS organisations failing on race equality duties. Yet again we have a damning report on the institutional racism that is endemic in the NHS.

It was not long ago that the Commission for Racial Equality condemned the NHS, yet here we are again in 2008 with the same indictment. When will the NHS face up to its duties and obligations and demonstrate that the true values of the NHS are still alive today? On its 60th anniversary one would have hoped that the NHS would be at the forefront of race equality.

The NHS is a fantastic organisation and something to cherish as a nation, but not at the expense of a significant minority of the population. As someone who works in the NHS I see the subtle discrimination faced by BME managers. People have said to me “you will make a good director - but not in this organisation” or “we value your hard work, but you don’t have the credibility to be a director”.

I see in other NHS organisations that serve a majority BME population no BME managers; and a PCT that has a majority of BME communities but a majority white workforce and one BME director. The NHS should learn some of the good points from the police service.

David Nicholson should hold every chief executive to account on race equality through mandatory targets to ensure their workforce reflects the communities they serve and this should be backed through performance-related pay and a league table published every year.

If that does not motivate chief executives, what will?

Waheed Saleem, locality director, Birmingham East and North PCT

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