Our commitment to an inclusive community

12 June 2020
Doctor desk with medical equipment, stethoscope and clinic tonometer and blood pressure measurement

A message from Professor Una Macleod, Dean

Around the world we continue to see examples of inequality and injustice, especially related to Black communities, which is very distressing. The death of George Floyd and the subsequent global anti-racism demonstrations and activism are a reminder that there is much still to be done to ensure that our global society is safe, inclusive and offers opportunity for all. Many of the issues brought to the fore by the Black Lives Matter movement are longstanding and require reflection and action at all levels. As a medical school we have a critical role to play.

People have a right to good health. Our aim is to produce doctors and physician associates who are able to deliver confident, compassionate and exceptional care for patients. But more than that, professionals who adhere to the WMA Declaration of Geneva and do not let considerations of age, disease, disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social status stand between them and the care they deliver to their patients. And who challenge prejudice and discrimination whenever they encounter it.

We, together with our fellow medical schools and higher education institutions, must work to address inequality within the sector. Ensuring that health education and training is representative, reflects and celebrates the diversity of our global society, and prepares future medical professionals to deliver the best possible care to their patients. Undertaking research which deepens understanding of health inequalities so that we might improve outcomes for patients. And using our position as a medical school to positively impact professional standards and behaviour and improve the culture of healthcare and education workplaces.

Members of our community are already making a difference, providing insight, education, and support to tackle inequalities. We will build on this.

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee will continue to provide a focus for this work going forward, ensuring we proactively advance equality and inclusive practice across all areas of our work. We will continue to widen access to our medicine programmes through widening participation and outreach initiatives and our admissions processes. We will continue to review our curriculum to ensure that teaching and assessment materials are representative and inclusive and that our curriculum appropriately addresses factors that drive inequalities. We will ensure our student support services continue to provide a safe space to offer guidance and support and ensure our students have the skills and confidence to raise concerns, challenge inappropriate behaviours and advocate for their patients and colleagues. We will value and celebrate diversity, empowering our staff to enact change. And through our research we will continue to shine a light on local, national and international health inequalities, offering insight and solutions to improve diagnosis, treatment and care.

Our students, staff and partners have a right to a safe, inclusive and supportive environment and we are committed to providing this.

It is important that we recognise the long-term work which needs to be done, and seize this opportunity to work together to create a more tolerant and fairer society. In the meantime, we are here to support members of our community and would urge them to contact our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champions and/or Student Support.

I want to reassure you all that we are focused on working with members of our School and those among our partners who are from a Black and ethnic minority background – listening, learning and importantly, challenging prejudice and intolerance whenever it occurs.

Together we can ensure that Hull York Medical School continues to grow as a strong and inclusive community.

Professor Una Macleod
Dean, Hull York Medical School