Oxford Health NHS Trust's black and ethnic staff disciplinaries 'disproportionate'

Warneford Hospital Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is based at Warneford Hospital

Disciplinary action against black and minority ethnic (BME) workers at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is disproportionately high, Unison says.

The trust has about 6,200 staff and in 2013 there were 78 disciplinary cases.

Oxfordshire Unison Health branch said half - 39 - were against BME staff, who make up about 20% of total staff.

The trust said it took equality and diversity seriously and did not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment.

'Judged negatively'

Unison said the figures "raised questions as to the effectiveness of the trust's equality monitoring procedures".

Ian McKendrick, from the union, said: "I think people are being judged negatively.

"I don't think the people doing the judging are necessarily aware of what they're doing."

In a statement, the trust said the safety of patients was its top priority and that disciplinary and conduct investigations were undertaken when there was evidence of poor and unsafe care.

It said Unison's figures were "broadly correct".

"However, the data set for one year is small so care is needed when drawing overall conclusions," it added.

It said there was no indication that managers focused more on BME staff, and that its data was broadly in line with national figures, citing a report from NHS Employers in 2010.

The trust said diversity and equal opportunity training was mandatory for all staff and managers involved in recruitment and disciplinary hearings.

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