Posted Date: 20th Jul 2012
Minister highlights responsibility to reduce health inequalities
Simon Burns, Minister of State for Health, speaking at a health summit hosted by the African Health Policy Network (AHPN), declared that, for the first time in the existence of the NHS, there is now primary legislation that places a duty on the Secretary of State for Health to “work towards reducing health inequalities”.
Simon Burns also said that the NHS reforms offer a new range of mechanisms for local people to hold the local health economy to account.
Francis Kaikumba, CEO of AHPN, responded by welcoming the minister’s openness to engage with AHPN in meeting the challenge of health inequalities.
“Over 70,000 people of African origin work in the NHS and their knowledge and understanding of the health and care needs have been an untapped asset to help Government reduce health inequalities.
AHPN’s new initiative to develop a network of health workers to establish a leadership process for African health professionals and to articulate and celebrate the crucial work of British Africans to deliver health outcomes, will prove invaluable to this new responsibility of the Minister of State for Health”
The summit "Improving Health Outcomes for African Communities" was held by AHPN on Tuesday 17th July and chaired by Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford.
At this event the audince heard from an expert panel of leading academics, clinicians and heads of Third Sector organisations, who suggested a new form of clinical community collaboration. This collaboration will be in the form of a clinical community network that AHPN will be launching in November 2012 at another event in Westminster.
Richard Fuller commented:
“AHPN is an irreplaceable voice for the health and care needs of Britain’s growing population of African origin and I look forward to seeing the success of this new endeavour.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- According to the NHS Institute for Innovation & Improvement, there are 193,000 staff from black and minority ethnic backgrounds in the NHS – representing nearly 20% of the NHS workforce
- There are 12,500 African doctors registered to work in Britain and since the year 2000, African nurses and doctors have been issued almost 68,000 work permits to work in the UK
- There are 30 BME executive directors out of an estimated 3,000 posts. In social care the picture isn't much better; the number of BME directors of adult services in England is 4 out of 150
- There are only 5 black and minority ethnic chief executives across more than 300 NHS organisations in the UK
- Less than 1% of NHS staff from African backgrounds are at executive director level or higher in the NHS.
For more information, contact:
Francis Kaikumba – Chief Executive of AHPN – firstname.lastname@example.org – 07792669994