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Abstract

It is important that NHS organizations have the ability to apply disciplinary procedures to ensure that staff behave in an appropriate and professional manner. Anecdotal evidence and a growing body of empirical studies indicates that Black minority ethnic (BME) doctors are more likely to be referred to the General Medical Council. Comparatively, less is known about the experiences of minority ethnic staff from other occupational groups within the NHS. This paper presents the findings abstracted from a larger study to assess the extent of involvement of BME staff in disciplinary procedures within the NHS. The study comprises several distinct phases, including a web audit of NHS trusts and examination of disciplinary policies and practices through workshops with human resources managers and representatives of health profession regulatory bodies alongside workshops with service managers to validate study recommendations to ensure relevance to the end users. Sufficient attention was not always given to transmit the ethos and values of the NHS, nor the organizational culture in which staff would be expected to work. There was repeated mention of a custom and practice culture existing within the NHS that was seen as perpetuating unwritten workplace norms and was instrumental in reproducing inequalities.