• New health secretary will highlight lack of BME background among NHS leaders
  • Will call NHS staff survey results “horrifying”
  • New consultation around NHS staff experience will look at harassment and how to progress more staff into leadership roles

The new health and social care secretary will use his first speech to call out the NHS leadership’s lack of diversity, pointing out only five NHS chief executives are from a BME background.

He will also discuss ambitions for;

  • A new consultation on “challenges” for the workforce, include bullying and harassment and how to establish better pathways for clinicians to move into leadership roles;
  • more training for pharmacists based in GP surgeries;
  • better support for nurses in acute hospitals to become advanced nurse practitioners;
  • an apprenticeship scheme for health and social care;
  • and; setting up a new panel of clinical and professional advisers for NHS and social care workforce issues

Speaking at West Suffolk Hospital on Friday morning, Matt Hancock will say: “Diversity is critical. In many areas diversity is thriving. But not everywhere. And speaking frankly, the NHS leadership community must do more to reflect the wider workforce.

“That has to change. Crucially we also need talent from outside at all levels – to develop a strong and diverse pipeline of capable leaders willing to bring their talents to health and care.”

Mr Hancock will say he is “horrified” that NHS staff surveys revealed 12 per of staff felt discriminated against, rising to 24 per cent for BME staff.

He also singled out workforce as one of his three early priorities in the role, alongside technology and prevention, echoing comments made in his first HSJ column last week.

Mr Hancock will say it is “heartbreaking to see how undervalued” NHS staff often feel.

“I am determined that the commitment you show to your patients is matched by the commitment we show to you,” he will tell hospital staff.