The response in London and worldwide to the brutal killing of George Floyd and the consequent surge in activism around the black lives matter movement is a reminder that there is structural racism in our society. For many black people of course, that reminder was not needed. 

Now more than ever, we can see health inequalities affecting people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. Public Health England recently reported that people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities were up to twice as likely to die of COVID-19 than their White British counterparts.

Trinity is not and cannot be exempt from conversations about structural racism and health inequalities in life and death.

London is one of the most diverse cities on the planet and in very many ways we reflect that diversity through our staff, patients and volunteers. But a diverse workforce is not automatically an inclusive one. Neither is it automatically an anti-racist one immune from society’s systemic racism. This is not always borne out as overt racism but can show itself as stereotypes, daily micro-aggressions, unconscious bias, personally-held assumptions based on race or inequality of opportunities to progress and develop. We need to ask ourselves and each other difficult questions and actively review what we do and address what needs to change.

Our commitment to fairness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion and engagement is at the heart of everything we do. It’s right there in our mission; as a provider of care, an employer and a place to volunteer we want to “challenge and overcome barriers to equality, diversity and inclusion”. Calling out structural racism of all kinds within our organisation is a key part of our FREDIE agenda but we must do more. We need to talk about being explicitly anti-racist and what needs to change for Trinity now. This is the time for us to voice and show our support for anti-racism and to do that we need to review, reflect and act on what we must do better, as a provider of care, an employer and a place to volunteer.

This is our commitment to actively playing our part in promoting race equality at Trinity.

We will combine education with action, led from all levels of Trinity. We will soon be inviting our colleagues to come together in safe spaces dedicated to sharing, listening and beginning the conversation about how and where racism manifests itself at Trinity. The first step is recognising what needs to change. The next step is finding tangible ways to address this, with input from all levels of the organisation. 

We will keep asking ourselves difficult questions about whether we are perpetuating stereotypes or unconscious bias. We will keep challenging ourselves and others about the ethnic diversity of our workforce, particularly at more senior levels. We will call ourselves out on any of our practices and hear others when they do the same. We will share our progress and hold ourselves and each other to account.

Royal Trinity Hospice Executive team