The Council of Deans of Health have released a report supported by Health Education England, now NHS England, Anti-racism in AHP Education: Building an Inclusive Environment. The report contains 14 case-studies detailing interventions to support minority ethnic Allied Health students throughout their university experience, and provides recommendations on how universities can implement similar schemes.
The Council met with key stakeholders for workshops to establish the key issues, before opening a request for case studies from universities across England. The resulting best-practice guide provides institutions with guidance on how to implement similar interventions.
Beverley Harden, Allied Health Professions Lead, Health Education England, said, “Our student learners tell us of the multiple challenges they face in accessing AHP careers and thriving as a learner. This is not acceptable, and we must be relentless in our commitment to meaningful improvement, at every level across both academia and service, sharing learning and working in partnership with one another to place our learner’s voices at the heart of improvement. This is our shared responsibility.”
Key issues identified in the report include lack of visibility, exclusivity and inequity within admissions processes, lack of support, communication differences, expectations of resilience and professionalism and negative experiences on placement, among others. Key recommendations include ensuring flexibility and innovation in interview processes, creating safe spaces for students to speak up, co-creating initiatives alongside students, ensuring teaching staff have effective training on decolonisation in education, diversifying and decolonising learning materials and teaching content and encouraging critical reflection of students’ own views and behaviours prior to practice and understand how to effectively support peers.