RCPCH and equality, diversity and inclusion - our approach

Our equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work started with a fundamentally important step for the College; that we hold a mirror up to ourselves, look at whether we truly reflect the breadth and diversity of our membership and start to put into place the actions that will answer these questions.

Here we explain our approach and governance.

Why are we doing this work?

Those working in paediatrics and child health reflect hugely diverse groups and societies but they also witness at first-hand the corrosive impact of racism and discrimination on children and young people. Our members expect us to show leadership and confront these issues.  

It is vital that we have feedback from members and we invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with us on this, and wider work via edi@rcpch.ac.uk. We will be reporting back regularly on what we have achieved and what still needs to be done. This is the beginning of our attempt to address the problems that are deep-rooted and will need concerted action.

Phase 1

When the College commissioned our report in 2019, we decided to focus on how to maximise opportunities for our volunteers to ensure that we had a more truly representative body. We knew that there would be a lot to do, with many areas lacking data or information to answer all those questions.

In our action plan, published in July 2020, we outlined how we are implementing these recommendations. This is was first step to improve equality, diversity and inclusion across all areas of our work.

The conversation has since widened to reflect deeper concerns across medicine and society about the nature of inclusion, this was therefore only the first phase of our action plan.

Read more about our phase 1 work, including our action plan

Phase 2

Phase 2 commenced in August 2020 and addresses other aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion of relevance to paediatrics. This work aims to chart how the College can position itself to address wider EDI issues across the protected characteristics and will also focus on matters raised by members, as well as EDI in the work paediatricians do to support children and young people.

Read more about our phase 2 work

Governance

The College established an approach and governance framework this year to manage its EDI work. The College’s ambition is to ensure everyone recognises and plays their role in EDI – RCPCH Council, Trustees, members, and College staff alike.

To make sure that EDI is embedded and coordinated across Trustees, members and staff, the three nominated senior leads within the College form an EDI Oversight Group, which includes Dr Bhanu Williams as the Trustee representative, Dr Camilla Kingdon as a College Senior Officer, and Robert Okunnu the College’s Director of Policy and External Affairs representing staff.

The new EDI Member Reference Group has been formed to also help support the EDI Oversight Group and provide feedback on the programme of work as it develops. There is also a new EDI representative, Dr Segn Nedd, on the Trainees Committee who will be working with the three nominated leads.

Member reference group

To support phase 2, the College is seeking input from members via a virtual member reference group. It purpose is to provide an avenue for members to input into the College's EDI work by commenting on current plans, progress and helping to identify future priorities.

The group aims to bring together a diverse range of perspectives across the RCPCH membership, and will provide support across the four workstreams of phase 2. Members of the group act in an individual capacity and although free to openly discuss their role, a list of members will not be made publicly available. 

A call for expressions of interest was put to members in October and the first meeting of the group is expected for November 2020. It is co-chaired by Dr Camilla Kingdon, VP for Education and Development and Robert Okunnu, Director of Policy and External Affairs.