1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2017, staff from the Other ethnic group were twice as likely as White staff to report that they had experienced discrimination at work from colleagues in the last 12 months; 15% of staff from the Other ethnic group, compared with 7% of White staff (including White ethnic minorities) said they had experienced discrimination at work from colleagues in the last 12 months

  • in all regions and types of NHS trust, staff from the Other ethnic group were more likely than White staff to have experienced discrimination in the last 12 months

Things you need to know

Participation is mandatory for NHS trusts but the number of survey respondents varies between them. Caution should be used when comparing trusts where the results are based on a small number of respondents.

The NHS Staff Survey was completed by NHS staff in 235 NHS trusts. Data from 2 of the trusts was suppressed to improve reliability because they had fewer than 11 respondents from the Other ethnic group. This means the percentages shown here are based on 233 trusts (99%), with a total of 452,446 respondents.

Some trusts selected a sample of staff to take part in the survey, while others invited all their staff to respond. Where a trust selected a sample, the sample may not have been representative of all staff in that trust. Staff who completed the survey might have had different experiences at work than staff who didn’t do so.

The data only includes staff who reported their ethnic group. Staff from some ethnic groups might be less likely to report their ethnicity or reply to certain survey questions. Therefore, the results may not be representative of all staff working for NHS trusts. No adjustments have been made to the results to compensate for any possible biases.

There will be a margin of error around all the estimates presented - some of which may be large, but we do not know the sizes of these margins of error.

We have therefore not commented on differences observed in the data of a few percentage points, as they may not indicate real differences. It is possible that some of the larger differences observed in the data, including those which we have commented on, are also within the margin of error, but we’re not able to assess this.

What the data measures

This data shows the percentage of people who, when responding to the NHS Staff Survey, said they had experienced discrimination at work from a manager, team leader or other colleagues in the last 12 months (2017).

For this data, the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic categories. Therefore, the data is presented for 2 broad ethnic groups: White and Other.

The percentages are calculated by dividing the number of people from each ethnic group who said they’d experienced discrimination from a colleague over the last 12 months by the total number of survey respondents from their ethnic group.

Data is also presented for 4 broad regions in England and the 4 types of NHS trust.

The regions in England are grouped as follows:

  • London (covering Greater London)
  • Midlands and East (covering the West Midlands, the East Midlands and the East of England)
  • North (covering the North West, the North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber)
  • South (covering the South East and the South West)

The types of NHS trust are:

  • hospital (also known as acute)
  • ambulance
  • community provider
  • mental health

The data does not include staff working in:

  • public bodies such as Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission
  • independent (non-NHS) healthcare providers
  • social enterprises
  • clinical commissioning groups

Data for each individual trust can be found in the download file.

The ethnic categories used in this data

For this data, the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic categories. Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 2 broad categories:

  • White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
  • Other – all other ethnic minorities

2. By ethnicity and area

Percentage of NHS staff within each ethnic group experiencing discrimination at work, by area
Region White Other
% %
All 7 15
London 8 16
Midlands & East 7 14
North 6 15
South 7 14

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

  • 7% of White staff (including White ethnic minorities) and 15% of staff from the Other ethnic group said they had experienced discrimination at work from colleagues in the last 12 months
  • nationally and in each of the 4 regions, staff from the Other ethnic group were around twice as likely as White staff to have experienced discrimination in the last 12 months

3. By ethnicity and type of trust

Percentage of NHS staff within each ethnic group experiencing discrimination at work, by type of trust
Type of NHS trust White Other
% %
All 7 15
Ambulance trusts 11 18
Community provider trusts 5 12
Hospital trusts (also known as acute) 7 15
Mental health trusts 6 13

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

  • out of all types of NHS trust, ambulance trusts had the highest percentage of staff who said they had experienced discrimination at work from colleagues in the last 12 months for both ethnic groups – 11% of White staff and 18% of staff from the Other ethnic group did so
  • in community provider, mental health and hospital (acute) trusts, between 5% and 7% of the White staff said they had experienced discrimination, compared with 12% to 15% of staff from the Other ethnic group

4. Methodology

235 NHS trusts took part in the survey. In 2 trusts, there were fewer than 11 responses from staff in the Other ethnic group, and so the results have not been included. Staff were sent a paper questionnaire or an email containing a link to an online questionnaire.

The survey was administered by the Survey Coordination Centre on behalf of NHS England.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

The data doesn’t include figures from trusts where fewer than 11 staff from either the White or Other ethnic group responded to the survey.

Rounding

Rounding Percentages are given to the nearest whole number. Unrounded figures are in the download file.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Workforce Race Equality Standard, technical guidance (PDF)

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

NHS England

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The purpose of the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) is to collect information on differences in the experience and treatment of NHS staff depending on their ethnicity, with a view to reducing these differences.

The NHS Staff Survey has been conducted every year since 2003. It asks NHS staff in England about their experiences of working for the NHS. The survey provides information about staff experience across the NHS in England and aims to highlight it to stakeholders and employers. Participation is mandatory for NHS trusts.

6. Download the data

nhs-staff-experiencing-discrimination-at-work - Spreadsheet (csv) 3 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, NHS trust, NHS trust code, geography, NHS trust type, numerator, denominator, value, comments