Hunter Healthcare are proud to sponsor the launching of Gifted Ethnic Minority Staff (G.E.M.S) 75@75 Awards

To mark the 75th Anniversary of the NHS, Colourful Healthcare and the Seacole Group are proud to launch 75 @ 75 – a new leaders list recognising 75 health and social care professionals from Black, Asian and other minoritised backgrounds who are making a difference in the sector.

The latest NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard report shows that staff from Black, Asian and minoritized groups make up almost a quarter of the workforce overall (24.2%). The analysis shows more than two fifths (42%) of doctors, dentists, and consultants, and almost a third (29.2%) of our nurses, midwives, and health visitors are from Black, Asian and minoritized groups. The statistics are similar in adult social care.1
“Staff from diverse racial backgrounds make significant contribution to the health and care workforce and many recent reports stress the importance of leaders and role models from minoritised communities in raising the aspirations and ambitions of staff who continue to be over looked yet under-represented in the most senior roles in the sector.” Wendy Olayiwola BEM (Founder, National BAME Awards).

Colourful Healthcare – the organisers of the annual National BAME Health and Care Awards, and The Seacole Group – the national network for ethnic minority NEDs and Chairs – are thrilled to support the celebration of the achievements and contributions ethnic minority staff in the health and social care sector.

“We want to recognise the leaders dong great work but are often unseen in the sector.” Says Dal Babu OBE (Chair, Seacole Group)
Sponsored by Hunter Healthcare, this recognition honours individuals in healthcare who, deemed by their peers, the public and the judges, to be the most influential and impactful individuals in the industry in terms of leadership and impact.

More information on the awards and how to nominate an individual can be found here.


NHS boardrooms must do more to harness the power of NEDs from Black, Asian and other Ethnic backgrounds

At last month’s NHS Confederation conference, Jacqueline Davies, NHS England’s Director of Leadership and Lifelong Learning, criticised the lack of diversity among the top ranks of the integrated care boards and called on NHS organisations to do better, saying that while substantial progress had been made on widening the background of ICB Chairs and NEDs, particularly with the appointment of more women and disabled people, when it comes to executive appointments, those figures decrease dramatically. There is indeed more work to do: only 3% of ICB CEOs are from BAE backgrounds. When we look at the provider community, things are not much better. We believe 43 Trusts have no BAE NEDs and only 8% of Trust Chairs are from a BAE background.

Our new report, “The Way forward: The experience of Black, Asian and Other Ethnic NEDs in the NHS,” undertaken in partnership with The Seacole Group, provides some useful insight we hope will help address these failures. Recently covered in The Guardian, it reveals that recruitment strategies that solely depend on passive advertising through job websites are less likely to attract BAE candidates for NED roles. BAE candidates are not likely to be searching for these opportunities as they often don’t realise that their skills and experience are sought by the NHS. NHS bodies should use contacts and networks (or of course executive search) to proactively reach out to potential BAE candidates and guide them through the recruitment process.

The report also highlights the positive impact those BAE NEDs who have managed to make it through to the NHS’s boardrooms are having there. It demonstrates that they are making a real difference up and down the country, drawing on the professional skills they have gained in a range of different settings, as well as their lived experience, to improve the quality of decision making and helping to drive the creation of more inclusive organisational cultures in the NHS.

But despite this, more than 27% of the BAE NEDs we engaged with told us they had seen or faced discrimination in the conduct of their roles. This serves to emphasise the need for urgent action by the leaders of the NHS to address the diversity deficit and make the NHS a more inclusive place to work.

We are grateful to The Seacole Group for working with us and the contributors who gave their energy and time to the research that informed the report. It is important for us as an executive search firm but also has wider implications for the NHS. Here at Hunter Healthcare, we will continue to work hard to “be the difference” that will help improve diversity and tackle inequality in the NHS and beyond.

I could end there, but want instead, to give the last word to one of the BAE NEDs I spoke to as part of the study:

“I would encourage others to consider taking on a NED role in the NHS. It’s a good way to help the health of the population and it’s very rewarding. I hear people say that they don’t understand the language, but NHS boards need people with a lot of different experience. It is worth doing; we all bring different skillsets to our roles.”

HH – The Way Forward – Report

The way forward: The experience of disabled non-executives in the NHS

Hunter Healthcare is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and to the NHS chair and non-executive director community. As part of that commitment, we are working with the Disabled NHS Directors Network (DNDN) on a research project to gain a better understanding of the experience of all
disabled chairs and non-executive directors (NEDs) in the NHS.

The latest statistics tell us that less than 4% of board members self-declare and 58% of boards do not have any disabled members. No-one disputes, therefore, that disabled people are under-represented on NHS boards and it has been this way for some time, despite the 2018 publication of the Holmes review into opening up public appointments to disabled people and the implementation of the Workforce Disability Workforce Equality Standard (WDES) in 2019.

We want to hear first-hand from disabled chairs and NEDs about their experience so we and others can learn from it and make things better for them, their colleagues and the next generations of disabled chairs and NEDs. We have set up an on-line questionnaire, in which disabled chairs and NEDs are invited to share their views and experience confidentially and with as much anonymity as they wish. The questionnaire will take as little as a few minutes to complete.

We would be grateful if you would share this with your chair and NED colleagues and encourage those who consider themselves to be disabled, whether or not you know about their disability, to participate.

Please complete the questionnaire by 31 July 2023. If you experience any difficulty accessing it please contact

To find out more about DNDN please contact

HH – DNDN – Leaflet