We recognise that being ‘non-racist’ allows racism to continue and therefore we must be actively anti-racist, by identifying and opposing racism in our everyday actions and behaviours.

As an organisation we are learning about how to become more anti-racist. We are working across the organisation to ensure that the anti-racism lens is at the forefront of our strategic plans, our programmes of work, and our staff experience.

Following the re-launch event on 28 June 2022, we ran a two-week programme of events to push our journey forward, these included:

  • good practice sessions from our support services to share how they are shifting their focus to become more actively anti-racist
  • stakeholder engagement discussions on our strategic plan and areas to focus on over the next three years, and
  • a webinar discussing “why is it hard to talk about racism?” (Please note that a decision was made to not record this session)

There are video recordings of these events on the links below.

Since our virtual re-launch event, and following a discussion with our Executives, we have listened to feedback from you as our colleagues to move away from the term BHAG, and to instead use the term Perfect Care Goal. You may note that some of the recordings listed below use the term BHAG. This is due to the recordings taking place before the agreement to move away from this term.

Mersey Care are on a learning and developmental pathway and wish to be sensitive in the language and terminology we use when talking about race and ethnicity. We hope that you continue to engage with us and invite you to share your feedback and viewpoints to help us to achieve our goal of being an anti-racist organisation.


Listen to Amanda Oates reflect on what anti-racism means to her on a personal, professional, and organisational level.  Amanda expects all colleagues not to be racist but asks us to build on civility and respect, calling racism out in a supportive way through adopting a restorative, just and learning culture approach.

In this video our Medical Director Dr Noir Thomas discuss how we must actively make processes fairer to open opportunities for those affected by racism and discrimination. Dr Thomas also shares his reflections as a professional and as an individual.

In this film, Deputy Chief Executive, Trish Bennett discuss her behaviours and values as a leader, a team member and as a nurse when reflecting on our anti-racism perfect care goal. 


This session looks at the Working Racial and Equality Standard (WRES) data available from 2021 and explores the barriers BAME colleagues face when experiencing recruitment processes. The session also explores potential ways we can make change happen so that our recruitment processes will be intentionally anti-racist.

The discussions following this session highlighted the following:

  • The importance of using positive, evidence-based recruitment practices – taking a deeper look at our methods for attraction, selection and interviews and considering are we being fully inclusive. For example, not all psychometric testing methods are inclusive
  • Consideration of piloting more diverse interview panels to challenge potential biases
  • Reconsidering the way we advertise vacancies – looking at the imagery we use as well as ensuring we show we are an inclusive employer across the UK, to attract more diverse talent. 
  • The need to review our current templates i.e., adverts, job descriptions etc and question whether they are inclusive.

Anti racism Sharing Good Practice - Recruitment powerpoint slides

This session acknowledges the lack of diversity within the HR function but stresses the need to identify any gaps and learning required to be an actively anti-racist team. Areas of focus for our HR team include reviewing policies and procedures including our 4-step process, analysing employee relation case data, considering the support offer available, micro-aggressions as part of our respect & civility jigsaw and how we move forward to provide better experiences for our colleagues.

The Q&A following this session highlighted the following:

  • Consideration of reviewing more forms of data such as exit interviews to receive feedback on where more anti-racist support work may be required
  • The importance to provide support and deliver specific training prior to colleagues commencing a new post, particularly if English is not their first language.
  • We have pastoral wrap around support as part of our international recruitment processes that look to identify, as well as ask, what support may be needed for our internationally recruited colleagues within their work and whilst living in the UK.

This session covers the different aspects of staff wellbeing that need to be considered when looking at how our wellbeing offer can be intentionally anti-racist. It highlights the importance of our offer being supported by both policy and available training and highlights the various wellbeing resources available to staff. 

The session asked colleagues on the call, what else is needed to support our colleagues to be anti-racist. The following was suggested:

  • Identifying a way to ask this question, not only to our staff network groups, but to all staff.
  • Listening Rooms for BAME colleagues, with no agenda – a safe space to share thoughts, racial trauma etc
  • Cultural cafes to create safe spaces for all ethnicities and cultures to talk
  • Non-therapeutic support – the power of having a chat
  • Supporting managers and all colleagues to understand the impact our anti-racism work may have on wellbeing overall

Further discussions later in the session also touched upon the following:

  • The Check-in and chat service is positively received, but we need to have more BAME colleagues providing this service
  • The importance of talking about racial trauma, but being supported to do so
  • This work needs to be continuous and therefore there is a need for a greater investment into our health and wellbeing team to support.

If you have any further suggestions or questions, please contact Ben Towell in the health and wellbeing team Ben.Towell@merseycare.nhs.uk

Anti racism Sharing Good Practice - Health and Wellbeing powerpoint slides

This session looks at the Trust’s New Team Canvas documentation and the importance of including an Anti-racism objective for your team. 

This session used breakout rooms to prompt discussion around the question “how does my team come up with an anti-racist objective? “What do we need to think about?”. The following points were raised

  • Completing unconscious bias tests both individually and as a team with senior leaders potentially sharing their results
  • Role modelling from our senior leaders on anti-racist behaviours
  • Incorporating BAME champions within our teams but exploring further what this could involve.
  • Being inclusive with our staff, patients, and their families on cultural preferences
  • A team objective could be to educate ourselves around the anti-racism agenda – It is a good objective to want to learn more
  • Supporting colleagues and patients’ religious celebrations

Should you wish for any additional support with your team canvas and exploring what you could include as an anti-racist objective, please get in touch with the Organisational Effectiveness Team

View the new Team Canvas documentation 

This session explores the actions are QRV team are taking to incorporate our anti-racism perfect care goal into the way we complete our quality review visits.

The question and answers following this session discussed:

  • how all teams will be able to reach out to other teams for best practice initiatives
  • our QRV team are investing in self-work to continue to have challenging conversations in a supportive manner – particularly around our anti racism perfect care goal 
  • teams that may need additional support in their anti-racist work will be signposted to teams such as Organisational Effectiveness, Patient Safety, ED&I and Freedom to speak up that can help
  • the QRV team are exploring how they can reach out to all staff when completing QRV meetings
  • active work in anti-racism is encouraging our service users to feel empowered to talk about racial trauma in a safe and supported way.

This recording runs to 23 minutes and explains how our anti racism strategy is linked to the ‘belonging’ aspect of the NHS People Plan. The session explains the differences between the culture, engagement and belonging workstreams and how the team have been reviewing them with the intention of being actively anti racism.  Discussions within the session include evidence for discrepancies in experience for BAME colleagues, what are the early warning signs are that we’re slipping with this agenda and actions needed.


This session covers how our Freedom to Speak up (FTSU) offer works and the importance of speaking up about any concerns you may have. The session also discusses the initiative to recruit Munawar Osman as a freedom to speak up guardian to encourage our BAME colleagues to speak up about any concerns they have.

The question and answres following this session discussed:

  • BAME colleagues reported to our FTSU Guardians their frustrations with the lack of career progression available to them which has been escalated to HR and the Trust Board
  • racism experienced on wards was investigated following being reported to FTSU and BAME colleagues reported they felt happy they had been listened to and heard in a sensitive forum
  • a vast majority of BAME FTSU cases are from our Bank Colleagues which needs further exploration, and
  • our Freedom to speak up guardians are happy to join any team meetings to discuss the work they do and the support you can receive.

You can find the presentation for this session in the additional information.

The key areas of discussion for this session included racial equality in appraisals, and potential biases that can be seen in appraisals, continuous professional development (CPD) and apprenticeship data. The session further explored what next steps our learning & development team will be taking to be actively anti-racist.

The Q&A following this session highlighted the following:

  • Appraisals are classed as a key performance indicator (KPI) and are a contractual agreement for all staff to be offered and participate in.
  • Virtual training for both staff and their managers on how to complete and have an effective appraisal can be found on the learning prospectus.

Learning and development anti-racism sharing good practice slides.

This session covers our current leadership development offer and the work currently taking place to allow more of our BAME colleagues to access and complete our leadership development programmes of Arrive, Strive, Thrive and Drive to further support their career progression.

The question and answers following this session highlighted:

  • that we want to see clear career progression opportunities for our BAME colleagues
  • the need to offer our Leadership Development offer to our BAME new starters
  • the importance of sharing success stories of leadership progression for BAME colleagues
  • the importance of language to communicate the offer and the use of language within content delivery.

More discussion points have been captured in the Zoom Whiteboard provided below: