MailOnline can reveal NHS bosses are offering a £100,000 contract for anti-racism consultancy services.
The tender – dubbed “woke” by critics – was published by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), which manages blood supplies and organ donation in the UK.
The winning bidder will “implement intentionally inclusive and anti-racist behaviors across our organization.”
NHSBT wants a “solution” that covers topics such as “racial equality, social justice, civility, cultural intelligence and active witnessing and inclusion”.
Critics slammed the six-figure spending on “stimulus waste” and called for “every penny” to go to frontline care instead.
The NHS blood and organ transplant organization, which is based in Bristol above, plans to spend £100,000 to hire an “anti-racist” consultancy
Cash-strapped hospitals are considering cutting back on surgeries this winter to balance the books, even as waiting lists are at an all-time high.
But NHSBT argued that hiring an anti-racism consultancy would help make up for the backlog by increasing the organization’s credibility in the eyes of ethnic minority Britons. This follows allegations of long-standing racism in the service.
A spokesman said: “This project is helping to provide better frontline care and reduce waiting lists, particularly for ethnic minority patients.
“Our staff must be able to encourage more donors from ethnically diverse backgrounds to donate blood, organs and stem cells.
“This will mean we provide more patients with the best treatment that will save and improve their lives.”
NHSBT says increasing donations from minority groups would reduce the waiting list for organ transplants and help prevent Britons with blood disorders needing emergency care, reducing overall pressure on the NHS.
In its application document, NHSBT said the consultancy was part of its “vision” of being an “intentionally inclusive and anti-racist” organization.
NHSBT added that the contract would be considered a success if staff had a better understanding of “racial equality”, were not disadvantaged because of their characteristics and recruitment policies were “deliberately inclusive”.
Tom Ryan, a policy analyst at campaign group TaxPayers’ Alliance, told MailOnline that the public will be horrified by this spending, adding: ‘Taxpayers are fed up with seeing vital health funds spent on these apt initiatives.
“With waiting lists still extremely long, every penny should go towards providing care to the front line.
“It’s time for healthcare to put patients first and crack down on unnecessary waste.”
The anti-racism deal comes just weeks after former health secretary Steve Barclay wrote to NHS leaders criticizing them for wasting taxpayers’ money on expensive diversity officers rather than spending it on frontline care.
He wrote: “Currently live adverts include roles paying up to £96,376, which is above the full-time basic salary of a newly promoted consultant.
“I don’t think it represents value for money, especially at a time when budgets are under pressure as we work through the backlog left by the pandemic.”
Barclay was fired last week.
His successor, Victoria Atkins, has yet to make a similar commitment to crack down on woke waste in the NHS.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), which is one of the key funders of NHSBT, said: “Taxpayers rightly expect every penny they spend on our NHS to be worth the money.
“That’s why the NHS and all the department’s independent bodies are constantly reviewing whether their diversity and inclusion projects are value for money and considering ways to improve.”
NHSBT has previously been accused of racist practices and attitudes.
Last October, Melissa Thermidor, a marketing director at NHSBT, revealed she was suing the service for constructive dismissal.
The NHS claimed the project would increase its “credibility” as minority groups would increase donations, helping Britons avoid emergency department visits, reducing waiting lists
She claimed that she was a victim of racist stereotypes, such as being a “screaming” and “aggressive” black woman.
Ms Thermidor also shockingly claimed that her colleagues used the disparaging term “Tesco donors” to refer to black people donating blood because, according to her colleagues, black people were most likely to shop there.
In 2020, an independent report was leaked which concluded that there was “evidence of systemic racism” at the NHSBT facility.
The six-figure increase in body spending comes after other parts of the health service in England were told they could cancel elective care appointments to help balance their budgets.
A wave of unprecedented industrial action by staff created a £1.1 billion financial black hole as hospitals had to pay ‘contribution rates’ to other staff who provided care to strikers.
Health bosses had hoped to get funding back from the government, but Downing Street only gave them £800m.
This led to NHS England telling trusts to reduce routine care until the end of the year in order to “achieve financial sustainability”.
NHSBT is a dedicated health authority sponsored by the DHSC, which means it is separate from the general body of NHS England and other national bodies.
Rates of organ and blood donation by minority groups in the UK have lagged behind national averages for years.
The latest NHSBT data for 2022/23 shows that only 4 and 2 per cent of deceased donors were Asian or Black respectively.
In contrast, people of Asian origin made up 19 per cent of those waiting for a transplant, compared to 11 per cent of black Britons.
Blood donations also lag behind need, with only 1 percent of active blood donors being black.
This is despite 55 per cent of black people having a blood type that can help treat patients suffering from sickle cell disease, a condition that disproportionately affects black Britons.
By comparison, only 2 percent of the general population has the Ro blood subtype, which sickle cell disease patients need.