BLACK and minority ethnic (BME) trainee doctors are less likely to be shortlisted and offered consultant posts than white trainees despite applying for more such posts, according to a recent report.
Researchers looked at survey results from 487 CCT (certificate of completion of training) holders within one year of gaining their certificate. The survey was conducted on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.
The survey found that over the last several years CCT holders who describe themselves as being of white British ethnicity apply for fewer posts, but are more likely to be shortlisted and offered a post. Black and minority ethnic (BME) women appear to be particularly disadvantaged.
The Royal College of Physicians and other organisations are discussing how to respond to the findings.
Professor Andrew Goddard, RCP president, said: "These findings are a clear warning signal that we need to investigate further and take immediate action. It is imperative that we do everything we can to make sure the appointment of consultants is based solely on ability.
"Discrimination, conscious and unconscious, is an issue across our society. The NHS is no exception, as the NHS Equality and Diversity Council has shown.
"Our concern is to make sure that everyone has the same opportunity to reach their potential, and the best doctors are appointed to the right jobs. We believe that will lead to a much more diverse workforce that reflects the community it serves.
"We look forward to working with NHS organisations, the GMC, other Royal Colleges and representative bodies such as the BMA to that end."