NHS bosses are offering a £100,000 contract for anti-racism consultancy services, MailOnline can reveal.
The tender — branded ‘woke’ by critics — was posted by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), which manages blood supplies and organ donation in the UK.
The successful bidder will ’embed intentionally inclusive and anti-racist behaviours across our organisation’
NHSBT wants a ‘solution’ which includes topics such as ‘racial equity, social justice, civility, cultural intelligence, and active bystander and inclusion’.
Critics slammed the six-figure spend on ‘woke waste’ and called for ‘every penny’ to go towards frontline care instead.
Cash-strapped hospitals are mulling scaling back operations this winter to balance the books, despite the waiting list sitting at an all-time high.
But NHSBT argued hiring an anti-racist consultancy would help tackle backlogs by increasing the organisation’s credibility with ethnic minority Brits. It also comes amid allegations of years of racism within the service.
A spokesperson said: ‘This project contributes to delivering better frontline care and reducing waiting lists, particularly for patients from ethnic minority backgrounds.
‘Our staff need to be able to encourage more donors from ethnically diverse backgrounds to donate blood, organs and stem cells.
‘This will mean we give more patients the best treatment that saves and improves their lives.’
NHSBT claims that boosting donations from minority groups would reduce the organ transplant waiting list and help prevent Brits with blood disorders needing A&E care, dropping overall pressure on the NHS.
In the application document, NHSBT wrote the consultancy was part of their ‘vision’ to be an ‘intentionally inclusive and anti-racist’ organisation.
Anti-racism is a term that means being actively opposed to racism, as opposed to simply not being racist.
NHSBT added the contract will be considered a success when their employees have a greater understanding of ‘race equity’, they are not disadvantaged by their characteristics, and its recruitment policies are ‘intentionally inclusive’.
Tom Ryan, policy analyst at campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told MailOnline the public would be dismayed by the spend.
‘Taxpayers are sick of seeing vital health funds spent on these right-on initiatives,’ he said.
‘With waiting lists still punishingly long, every penny should be directed at delivering frontline care.
‘It’s time for the health service to put patients first and crack down on woke waste.’
The anti-racism contract comes just weeks after ex-Health Secretary Steve Barclay wrote to NHS leaders slamming them for wasting taxpayer cash on costly diversity officers rather than spending it on frontline care.
He wrote: ‘Current live adverts include jobs with salaries of up to £96,376, which is above the basic full-time pay for a newly promoted consultant.
‘I do not consider that this represents value for money, even more so at a time when budgets are under pressure as we work to tackle the backlog left by the pandemic.’
Mr Barclay was sacked as Health Secretary last week.
His successor, Victoria Atkins, has yet to make a similar commitment to crackdown on woke waste in the NHS.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), which is one of the key funders of NHSBT, said: ‘Taxpayers rightly expect value for money from every penny spent in our NHS.
‘That is why the NHS and all of the department’s arms-length bodies continuously review whether their diversity and inclusion projects are good value for money, and consider ways to improve.’
NHSBT has previously been accused of racist practices and attitudes.
In October last year, Melissa Thermidor, a marketing executive who worked for NHSBT, revealed she was suing the service for constructive dismissal.