The London Ambulance Service has “a long way to go” to make sure its black and ethnic minority staff are not discriminated against, LAS leaders said today.
LAS chairman Heather Lawrence said the organisation, where nearly one in five staff are from minority communities, is “not delivering” on fair treatment.
Lawrence’s comments follow a workforce survey which found black LAS staff were twice as likely to face disciplinary action, while white workers were more likely to be appointed to a new post from a shortlist,
“I had an email sent to me suggesting we had made no progress at all. While I recognise the person might have a particular perspective, I think we have got a long way to go,” Lawrence added.
“Given all the work we have done on Black Lives Matter, the results are disappointing. We have to have a very strong focus on that because we are not delivering.”
The survey found 31.7 per cent of black and Asian staff reported experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from colleagues.
Beyond colleagues, ethnic minority staff abused by patients or members of the public increased from 43 per cent in 2020 to 48.6 per cent this year.
LAS chief executive Garrett Emmerson agreed there was “still more to be done” on equality, diversity and inclusion in London’s emergency service.
“The murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement prompted us to hold a trust-wide ‘big conversation’ on the experiences of our black and minority ethnic colleagues,” Emmerson added.
“We built an immediate action plan to help address some of the discrimination and inequality experienced.”
The London ambulance lead also said the organisation has begun conversations regarding women’s experiences in the workplace in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder by a serving police officer.