BME Survey Results


Public Board



Report Title:

BME Survey and Action Plan - March Update

Agenda Item:



Lauren Singleton – Deputy Director of Culture and Leadership

Lead Director:

Dr Hein Scheffer, Director of Strategy, Culture and Education


SR1a: If we do not ensure our people are safe and their wellbeing prioritised, there is a risk that we will be unable to attract, retain and keep all our people safe and well


SR1b: If we do not ensure our leaders are developed and equipped, there is a risk that we will not be able to change our culture, and value, support, develop and grow our people

Equality Impact Assessment

No negative impact identified



Negative impact identified:



Sexual Orientation




Gender Reassignment







Pregnancy and Maternity


Marriage and civil partnership




The Committee is asked to consider the content of the BME survey and to approve its corresponding action plan. The BME action plan sits within the EEAST Inclusivity plan which is in development.

Previously considered by:

Executive Leadership Team and People Committee


The purpose of this report is to share the content of the BME Survey, which is published with this report and its associated action plan for the next three years, including actions taken to date and a reminder of what is being planned in the coming 12 months. This update is set against the backdrop of the BME Survey results.

Executive Summary

It is the desire of the Trust’s Executive Team, to harmonise existing workstreams and promote greater transparency in terms of inclusivity. A BME survey was commissioned during the end of 2022 to better understand the experience, perceptions and realities of the Trust BME staff.  This survey resulted in a 48% return rate, or 58 out of the 120 selected BME staff.

It is fair to say that the BME Survey results makes for uncomfortable reading, however as part of the ambition of the Trust to improve its culture, making EEAST a great place to work, learn and volunteer, it is important that the content of the report is accepted as the baseline to improve from.

The Trust’s Executive has met with members of the BME network, and whilst some of the activity and poor behaviours clearly occurred before the current Executive team’s arrival, the CEO personally apologised to staff for their experiences and perceptions.  A zero tolerance for such poor behaviour was confirmed, and if repeated, appropriate and proportionate action would be taken.

In developing a learning culture, the BME action plan makes provision for education, creating an environment of safety for all, ensuring that all staff at the Trust feels safe, valued and respected. 

An integrated inclusivity plan is currently in development and will cover all EDI related actions, across a rolling 3 year period. This will be supported by a new series of KPIs, providing greater assurance of progress and a continuation of effort to increase levels of diversity, equality, fairness and transparency, across the Trust.

The BME survey and corresponding action plan is one part of the EEAST inclusivity plan. Along with other staff surveys, including the recent finalised LGTB +, Disability, and National staff surveys, a number of actions will be planned and implemented to increase employee experience across EEAST and achieve greater diverse representation across the organisation.
Introduction/ Background

In July 2022, EEAST commissioned McKenzie LLP – a specialist Equality, Diversity and Inclusion consultancy - to undertake an external research and consultation project with all BME staff employed within the Trust.

The research and consultation exercise included an online survey and one-to-one telephone interviews and was completed during August – October 2022.  

In total, 58 of the 120 selected employees answered the survey (48% response rate). 26 employees also took part in a one-to-one confidential telephone interview.  The 58 participants in the survey represents c. 1.5% of all Trust employees.  

A previous paper on the BME survey results proposed several actions over the next 3 years, to actively address the key themes recognised in the survey. The action plan was aligned to the NHS Anti-racism charter and action plan to validate proposed actions, and ensure adequate coverage is given to all aspects of EEAST’s operation.

This paper provides an update on the BME survey actions taken to date, as well as the planned actions to be taken over the next 12 months. In particular, it provides an update on work underway in the inclusive recruitment aspects of the BME survey plan as well as additional actions on induction, training and communications campaigns. This update is provided against the backdrop of the planned release of the BME survey results which coincides with the Public Board on the 15th March 2023 and also the NHS 2022 Staff Survey results release on the 9th March 2023.

A high level overview has also been provided in this report of the forthcoming NHSE diversity workplan spanning from 2023-2028. This plan will be released in April 2023, and will require additional reporting on key actions to be undertaken by system partners. Although information is limited at this stage, it would appear from an initial overview, that the EEAST Inclusivity plan will already cover and include all required actions. A further update will follow upon formal release of information from NHSE.
Key Issues/ Risks

The content of the survey makes difficult reading. There is evidence of very outdated behaviours and attitudes among a minority of managers. There could be a negative impact on the Trust’s reputation as a safe and positive place to work, which might be perceived to undermine the good work done around the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and CQC in recent months.

The Executive agreed to re-run the BME survey for three years, the 2022 survey being the first and baseline for development.  To ensure planned activities are fully aligned to employee experience, the three-year action must be revisited and updated every year following the annual BME survey. It must also continue to be co-created with our BME network, to capture key themes and required areas of focus based on their collective feedback. Failure to adjust our action plan based on employee feedback may mean that activities completed do not have the expected impact on staff experience and retention.

Finally, we must also reflect that our BME survey actions must interconnect with our EDI KPIs which are currently being developed in conjunction with the 2021 Census data. Through a data led analysis of our workforce, we must identify under-representation through different sectors, directorates and regions and take proportionate corrective action.
The action plan presented in the accompanying slide deck should be viewed as an initial proposal of intent. The BME survey action plan has been reviewed by the BME network, EDI Group, as well as the ELT and People Committee. However, we will continue to add to this action plan as required, in our ambitions to co-create an agile and impactful action plan. Therefore, comments and feedback are welcomed as part of the Trust Board’s decision to either accept or reject this outline plan.

The BME survey and action plan seeks to provide clarity on the Trust’s intentions to ensure all its staff have a sense of belonging, are being valued, respective and heard.

The BME survey results will be shared with all the people at EEAST, via this Public Board.



BME Staff Survey - Full Report

BME Survey Summary and Actions

Next Section: Inclusivity Plan