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Nurse says she faced hours of racist abuse

A nurse who was racially abused at work has urged Health Minister Robin Swann to take action on racism towards healthcare staff.

Beverly Simpson, a nurse for more than 25 years, said she was subjected to hours of abuse while working last weekend.

The incident at the weekend took place in a private healthcare setting, Ms Simpson told BBC Radio Foyle.

She said she was called racist slurs by a patient for several hours.

"I want to do nursing, I have always been a nurse," she said. "I never realised that I would be placed in such a vulnerable position and I actually question myself if I should walk away."

Ms Simpson said she wanted to speak publicly to make sure "any other nurse from a black or minority ethic group did not feel alone".

"There is abuse going on, it's something that is happening," she said. "I felt, for the first time in a long while, about quitting. I asked myself: 'What is the point?'

"I understand that when people are sick their defences may be down, they're more vulnerable and they may say things they shouldn't, but there was a nastiness to it."

In a statement, the Department of Health said racism was not something that any colleague in Health and Social Care (HSC) should have to endure.

"We want to send a clear message, from the very top of our health and social care system, that such behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated," the department said.

"We fully recognise and respect the hard work, commitment and dedication of HSC staff from within the BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] community."

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Source: BBC News, 6 September 2022


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