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BME nurses shun promotion plan aimed to develop skills for management positions

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Nurses from BME groups do not appear to be applying for a programme to develop the skills and confidence to cope with senior level positions

The Breaking Through Top Talent Programme, led by former nurse Yvonne Coghill, is one of the strategies in place to enable selected NHS staff to undertake higher-rank placements to develop the skills and confidence to cope with senior level positions.
One of the 13 individuals going through the first cohort is a nurse. Sixty individuals have applied to be part of the second group but very few are nurses, said Ms Coghill.

‘I would expect more nurses to apply than doctors and pharmacists and that is not the case,’ she said. ‘Why aren’t they applying?’

Ms Coghill called on NHS organisations to do more to encourage nurses to take up opportunities such as Breaking Through.

‘It is for organisations to say to their staff: “This is available, why don’t you do it?”,’ she said.

The news follows publication of a report, Access of BME Staff to Senior Positions in the NHS, which finds many staff from BME groups are stuck in lower rank posts because of racial bias in recruitment and selection, and undervaluation of overseas qualifications.

The report, published by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, shows that BME staff comprised 10.1% of NHS middle management staff in 2008. This was up from 7.3% in 2007, but below the national average of 12.1%. Staff from BME groups comprised 8.3% of senior managers, while the national average was also 12.1%.

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