We, like many others, have been saddened and angered by the racism and violence that led to the death of George Floyd in the US, which has been felt deeply by many of the staff, partners and communities of the Health Foundation. We stand in solidarity with the black community.

While context might differ, the UK has its own issues of racism and inequality to confront, which are no less profound. Black and minority ethnic groups experience discrimination and disadvantage in the UK every day, including in the NHS and social care.

Examples of this inequality are many and shameful. As underlined by this week’s Public Health England report, the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on black and minority ethnic groups in the UK. Racial discrimination affects people’s life chances negatively in many ways. For example, by restricting access to education and employment opportunities. People from black and minority ethnic groups tend to have poorer socioeconomic circumstances, leading to poorer health outcomes. The stress associated with being discriminated against based on race directly affects people’s mental and physical health.

We have a role to play in using our power, resources and privilege to tackle racism, and racial inequalities in health and health care. We know we have a long way to go as an organisation, and are committed to making progress. We are increasing funding and undertaking in-house work on issues of health inequalities and race. We are also working to improve diversity and inclusion at every level of the Foundation.

The journey to racial and social justice will continue to be long and difficult, and speaking out and acting to make a difference cannot fall only on the shoulders of the black community. We are committed to listening, acting and speaking out in support of racial equality in health and health care in the UK.

Signed,

Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive
Adam Steventon, Director of Data Analytics
Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics
Cathy Irving, Director of Communications
Jo Bibby, Director of Health
Paul Hackwell, Director of Finance and Operations
Tim Elwell-Sutton, Acting Director of Health
Will Warburton, Director of Improvement

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