UWE Bristol receives £60k training funding to support BAME students and staff working in the NHS

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UWE Bristol’s Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences has received £60,000 in funding from Health Education England (HEE) to implement its Unconscious Bias Training programme.

This project offers UWE Bristol an opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues at North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) on the issue of the BAME attainment gap, a key priority for the University and the NHS.

The training programme, which begins later in March, takes a city-wide approach to building awareness and support for BAME students and staff working in the NHS, with the aim of ultimately improving the student, staff and patient journey to ensure the NHS best represents and serves the wider community.

UWE Bristol is delivering on its commitments to reduce the attainment gap for BAME students and promote equality, diversity and inclusion for all staff and students.

By taking a collaborative approach between University staff as well as NHS employees and practice facilitators, the programme will go some way in raising awareness of unconscious bias and how this can affect individuals.

The aim is to reduce incidents of racial harassment and discriminatory behaviours that affect retention and attainment of students and staff.

Unconscious biases are unintentional views, opinions and attitudes towards social groups that are influenced by one’s background, culture and personal experiences and operate subconsciously. 

The project consists of six evidence-based workshops for participants to learn about the difference between unconscious bias and implicit bias, how to reflect on their own biases, and to explore how unconscious biases can contribute towards prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behaviour, each workshop will produce commitment statements to work towards closing the gap.

Upon completion of the programme, the training workshops will be evaluated through quantitative and qualitative methodologies to gain a holistic understanding of the project.

The University will also track participants’ personal development of their knowledge, skills, understanding and empathic responses. In addition to arranging follow-up reflection groups to ensure that continuous action and reflection is taking place across the collaboration, the University will continue to review retention and attainment figures annually.

Project leads

Eleanore Bliss, Senior Lecturer (Nursing) eleanore.bliss@uwe.ac.uk  

Alisha Airey, BAME Project Officer alisha.airey@uwe.ac.uk