Some of you are aware that over the past 6 -8 months, I have been working alongside Richard, Steve, Arfan and our consortium partners to audit and review the workforce diversity profile of Leeds IAPT. This piece of work is now complete and I’d like to share some of our findings with you.
You might be wondering, why you? Well, from a personal perspective I had always been curious why I was one of a small handful of BAME therapists within Leeds IAPT. I started as a High Intensity Trainee in 2009 and for several years was the only BAME CBT therapist within the service. As the years went by I thought ‘I can’t be the only one interested in this work with the relevant skills & training!’ I was right, we have a few more BAME CBT therapists now which is great for the service and our service users but we still have improvements to make. The aim is to have more diversity within the workforce at all levels to better match the communities that we serve.
Some of the key findings are:
- a) Currently the workforce is 86% White British (bands 4-8)
- b) We have 14% BAME staff, with the highest concentration in band 5 roles.
- c) There are low numbers of BAME staff in bands 6&7 and one within a managerial position
- d) Current projections for the BAME population of Leeds suggest it is closer to 25%
Key recommendations summarised from the working group:
1) That Leeds IAPT assemble a dedicated Diversity Improvements Working group, representative of all consortium partners as soon as practically possible.
2) That the board agree to the above mentioned working group developing an action plan and implementing it.
3) Recruitment and marketing practices across the consortium are reviewed to ensure improved BAME representation in recruitment to the workforce,
that better reflect the Leeds population.
4) To have one consistent equality and diversity training programme with a focus on unconscious bias to be commissioned focussing on all staff.
5) IAPT workforce monitoring data is reported to the board on a six monthly basis.
I attended the IAPT Board meeting last month and the board agreed to all of the recommendations, which is a huge step forward for our service. I will continue to Chair the working group and look forward to working alongside my colleagues to improve the service and increase outcomes for all Leeds residents who access IAPT.