RCPCH’s response to the GMC report Equality, diversity and inclusion: targets, progress and priorities for 2022

On Thursday 10 March, the General Medical Council (GMC) published its first update on progress towards the equality, diversity and inclusion targets it set last year.
Reports with pie charts and bar graphs

The GMC update on the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) targets highlights the importance of medical organisations working together to eliminate disproportionate complaints from employers about ethnic minority doctors and to eradicate disadvantage and discrimination in medical education and training. It is positive progress that the gap between employer referral rates for ethnic minority doctors and international medical graduates (IMGs), compared to white doctors, has reduced slightly. The targets set by the GMC to eliminate disproportionate complaints from employers about ethnic minority doctors, by 2026, and to eradicate disadvantage and discrimination in medical education and training by 2031 are long term goals and this report shows the first step of that journey.

We are particularly pleased to note under fairer training cultures the creation of the working group to focus on the use of protected characteristic data. From our own analysis, we recognise the issues associated with small numbers and suppression rules, but the experience of those from different ethnicities can vary greatly.  Presenting data with overarching categories of 'White' and 'Ethnic Minority' may be obscuring even greater differences between ethnic minority groups. As well as listening to the lived experience of doctors impacted by those differences, it is also important that we try to transparently share the data that supports their story and can evidence the improvements we are striving to make.

At the College, we are dedicated to working for change. Amongst other EDI objectives and areas of focus, we recognise the need to provide support our IMG members and to achieve this have been working closely with Soft Landing, a voluntary organisation aiming to give all IMG Paediatricians all necessary support upon arrival to work in the NHS from overseas. In working closely with this group we have reviewed and endorsed their one day programme and are exploring how we can support their mock interviews for ST3/4 recruitment. Representatives from Soft Landing will also be co-opted to the College Recruitment and Lifelong Careers Board for a pilot period of 12 months so that they can provide strategic input and we are also actively seeking their best practice recommendations for consideration.

Organisations holding themselves accountable to the actions they have promised to deliver in EDI is incredibly important and we look forward to the next update on this vital work from the GMC.

We have recently published our own annual EDI report, to provide a transparent update on our areas of success and where we have not yet achieved our goals. You can read more about our work on our website.