NHS hiring for £1 million in equality, diversity and inclusion positions amid frontline worker strikes

23 December 2022, 21:55 | Updated: 23 December 2022, 21:57

Steve Barclay stands next to the Downing Street Christmas tree
Steve Barclay stands next to the Downing Street Christmas tree. Picture: Getty

By Adam Solomons

The NHS is spending £1 million on new hires in equality, diversity and inclusion roles on numerous times a nurse's salary as frontline workers walk out.

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Positions include mindfulness and lived experience training leads.

Two thirds of the twenty equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) positions are paid more than nurses' average annual pay packet of £33,384, the Daily Mail reported.

One EDI associate director role advertises a £97,000 salary.

It comes as frontline NHS workers including nurses and paramedics stage days of walkouts amid record waiting lists.

Read more: Nurses to walk out again next month as ambulance workers join forces and coordinate strike

Read more: 'Don't give your cold to granny this Christmas,' Brits warned, as NHS prepares for 'darkest winter to date'

NHS staff march to Downing Street on the second day of nurses strike in the UK.
NHS staff march to Downing Street on the second day of nurses strike in the UK. Picture: Alamy

The Royal College of Nursing yesterday said that the next phase of strikes will take place in England only, but that more walkouts would be announced in the new year.

RCN boss Pat Cullen said: "The government had the opportunity to end this dispute before Christmas but instead they have chosen to push nursing staff out into the cold again in January.

"I do not wish to prolong this dispute, but the Prime Minister has left us with no choice."

Striking nurses are pictured outside St Thomas's Hospital in London
Striking nurses are pictured outside St Thomas's Hospital in London. Picture: Alamy

A union representing some ambulance workers also said on Friday that its members would no longer strike on December 28, to give the public some respite over the Christmas period, having walked out on Wednesday.

But GMB also said that its members' pay dispute with the government had not gone away, and that it would join ambulance workers represented by Unison in striking on January 11.

Unison members in the ambulance service will also down tools on January 23.

Unite, which also represents some ambulance workers, took part in the December 21 strike, but has not announced further strike dates.

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