NHS trusts are spending more than £8.2 million a year on equity, diversity and inclusion officers. The Telegraph has more.
The figures, revealed through Freedom of Information requests, relate to just 70 of the 125 acute hospital trusts across England – suggesting the scale of the spending could be far higher.
It comes after job adverts posted by 16 trusts in one month alone revealed they would cost the taxpayer more than £700,000 annually.
The new data show that in 2022, the 70 trusts are employing 187 people in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) roles – almost three per employer.
In total, the 187 jobs are costing the NHS up to £8,220,783 a year.
It comes after the NHS warned it was facing a £7 billion funding shortfall and could be forced to cut services due to rising inflation and the cost of this year’s pay award.
The Government subsequently announced an extra £6.6 billion of funding over the next two years in the Autumn Statement for the NHS. But experts warned the increase would not account for rising inflation and other unexpected costs.
Some of the hospital trusts which replied to requests admitted they were employing up to 10 people in diversity jobs.
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has nine staff working in EDI roles, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust has nine filled and one currently advertised, while the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust has at least nine full-time employees in such roles.
The three trusts’ spending on the EDI roles accounts for 16 per cent (up to £1.3 million) of the total.
King’s College Hospital also has the highest paid individual employee in a diversity role, with one member of staff earning up to £128,600 a year.
It comes after Steve Barclay, the Health Secretary, last month ordered a crackdown on diversity jobs in the NHS amid fears “woke box ticking” is costing taxpayers millions of pounds.
Mr Barclay is alarmed at the “spiralling cost” of the jobs, it was reported last month.
A Whitehall source told the Sun: “Steve is very concerned about the spiralling cost of these jobs. The numbers are clearly getting out of hand.
“Patients want every penny of NHS cash to go into fixing the service, not hiking the management payroll and increasing the burden of woke box ticking.
Read More: NHS Spends More Than £8.2 Million on Woke Non-Jobs