Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity definition

Achieving diverse leadership is critical to a thriving NHS and to helping ensure that the service delivers on the NHS Constitution’s commitment to meeting the needs of all our communities.


This is a longstanding priority for the NHS Confederation and we conduct a range of activities to support our member organisations, as well as the wider health and care system, to embed equality, diversity and inclusion into their work.


We run two major networks that are helping local and national leaders to address the strategic and operational barriers to delivering greater diversity:


BME Leadership Network


This new network was set up by the NHS Confederation in March 2019. It meets quarterly and seeks to:    


  • Improve understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion and publish the benefits to help deliver better care for all
  • Improve and sustain the number of BME leaders working in the NHS
  • Profile the diverse range of BME leaders delivering solutions across the health and care system.

The network is co-chaired by Danielle Oum, chair of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and Ifti Majid, chief executive of Derbyshire Healthcare.


Formal members of the network will be leaders from BME backgrounds, while we encourage non-BME leaders to become supporters of the network. Please provide your details on this jotform.


To find out more and to get involved, email Joan Saddler, our associate director, at joan.saddler@nhsconfed.org


  • The first report published by the BME Leadership Network calls for a review of the current appointments process after it found that the percentage of chairs and non-executives of NHS Trusts from a BME background has nearly halved in the last decade – from 15 per cent in April 2010 to 8 per cent today. The report also points out that the percentage of women in chair and non-executive roles has fallen from 47 per cent in 2002 to 38 per cent now. At the same time there has been no increase in the proportion of non-executive leaders with a disability – this has remained static, between 5 and 6 per cent. Read the report here.
  • Director of partnerships and equality Joan Saddler gives a round-up of BME Leadership Network activity at NHS Health & Care Expo 2019

Our network supporters:

BME Leadership Network supporters

Health and Care Women Leaders Network

Health and Care Women Leaders Network


Delivered by the NHS Confederation and NHS Employers, the Health and Care Women Leaders Network is a free network for women working across health and care.


It connects through events, masterclasses and tweet chats, and shares learning through podcasts, blogs, videos and key reports.


Join to celebrate skills and talents, connect with colleagues and challenge gender stereotypes in the workplace.


To find out more and to get involved in the network, please email Julie Johnson at Julie.Johnson@nhsconfed.org


Find out more about the network by listening to our chair Sam Allen talk about her leadership journey and plans for the network in the short film below.

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