Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley: My Lords, I would congratulate the Secretary of State Sajid Javid on presenting this report if it called for fewer full-time equality, diversity and inclusion officers and devoting resources, intention and focus to patients. Sadly, on reading the report, it does not; quite the reverse. It is totally obsessed with EDI. EDI is mentioned three times as frequently as patients. There is no mention of waiting lists, whistleblowers, cover-ups or value for money, and only one reference to efficiency. There is nothing about the lessons of Staffordshire or the failures in the health service—nothing at all. It is about EDI only. Worst of all, it states that demonstrating a commitment to EDI is more important than just technical skills.

    It is important that we eliminate discrimination from the health service, but when I am treated, it is the technical skills of the medical staff I am worried about, as it is when those whom I love are being treated. The report sets goals for increasing the representation of underrepresented groups, but no goals for improving outcomes for patients. Worst of all, it proposes using the everyday discrimination scale as an objective tool of management, yet it is entirely subjective and all the academic literature I have found suggests it is completely worthless. Will my noble friend commission another report that will deal with people’s real concerns about the NHS?

    Lord Kamall: I thank my noble friend for the question. It is important that we recognise that not only do we have more doctors and nurses than ever before, but we need staff to be good leaders. That includes understanding diverse workforces and, as I said earlier, making sure that we have good leaders at the top. Why do we have a diverse workforce? In fact, that diversity is not represented right at the top, in the leadership. Sometimes, when you want to change an organisation—I am sorry, but I did an PhD in organisational change—there are a number of aspects and one of them is the culture and the leadership. Sometimes a new leadership comes in that can drive that change in the organisation. It is not just about structures but about making sure that we improve the standard of care we give to people. This issue came up in the report, because we have to have the right leadership and focus on patient care and on making sure that we have a proper integrated health and social care system for patients all the way through their lives.