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'Hospital job ad is against whites' - claim
A FORMER hospital boss has accused Worcestershire NHS chiefs of discriminating against white people in their advert for a key post.
Bob Donkin, of Upper Brookend, Kempsey, near Worcester, has written to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in Worcester over positive discrimination in favour of black and ethnic minority candidates to sit on their board.
The advertisement says the trust is “committed to equality of opportunity for all” but then goes on to say: “We particularly want to hear from people from black and minority ethnic communities who are able to make a real contribution to this organisation.”
Mr Donkin joined the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust where he held a position as executive director for six years in the 1990s, helping the new board to define strategic direction and merge two acute hospitals.
There he had a wide range of responsibilities including for estates, IT, capital projects and risk management. He said he had never before found wording like that in a job advert.
He has written to Penny Venables, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, to express his concerns.
He wrote: “The advertisement discriminates against the white community.
“You say the best boards should reflect the communities they serve. Recruitment should be based on competence not colour.
“In the first instance I request that you remove this discriminatory phrase from your advertisement.”
Cambridge graduate Mr Donkin, who set up his own consultancy firm in 1998, said he was interested in serving as a non-executive director on the hospital trust if a suitable position came up, spotted the advert online.
A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Following the abolition of strategic health authorities, the NHS Trust development authority is responsible for overseeing the performance management and governance of NHS trusts, including clinical quality, and managing their progress towards foundation trust status.
“Since October 2012 they have also been responsible for the recruitment process and appointment of non-executive members to NHS trusts.
“The wording on the advert is theirs, not ours.”
The trust has yet to appoint anyone. Other adverts on the NHS Trust Development Agency website say they “particularly want to hear from women”.
The NHS Trust Development Agency declined to comment.