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Third of BAME staff in NHS mental health services face racist abuse at work

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NHS leaders are being urged to tackle racist abuse of staff as new figures reveal that a third of black, Asian or minority ethnic workers in mental health trusts in England have experienced harassment, bullying or attacks by patients, relatives or members of the public.

One in three (32.7%) BAME staff in mental health settings have experienced abuse, according to analysis by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. For BAME workers across the NHS, the rate is more than one in four (28.9%).

One medical director told the Guardian that hot tea had been thrown at them “because of the colour of my skin”. A psychiatrist told how they were left traumatised after they were racially abused – then threatened with a knife.

The college is calling on health leaders to take a stand against discrimination by setting up better processes in NHS trusts to record and understand data about bullying and harassment.

Dr Adrian James, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the findings were deeply concerning. He said: “NHS leaders and local health bosses must tackle this head-on.”

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Source: The Guardian, 9 September 2021

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