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Found 570 results
  1. News Article
    April Valentine planned to have a complication-free delivery and to enjoy her life as a first-time parent to a healthy baby girl. Instead, California’s department of health and human services is investigating the circumstances of the April's death during childbirth. April, a 31-year-old Black woman, went to Centinela hospital in Inglewood on 9 January and died the next day. Her daughter Aniya was born via an emergency caesarean section. Her family and friends say that staff at the hospital ignored the pregnant woman’s complaints of pain, refused to let her doula be in the hospital room during the birth and neglected Valentine as her child’s father performed CPR on her. “It’s hard to even sleep, to even look at my child after seeing what I saw in that hospital that night,” said Nigha Robertson, Valentine’s boyfriend and Aniya’s father, to the Los Angeles county board of supervisors during its 31 January meeting. “I’m the only one who touched her, I’m the one who did CPR. Nobody touched her, we screamed and begged for help … they just let her lay there and die.” During the 31 January board of supervisors meeting, people who spoke in support of Valentine said that Centinela hospital is known around the community for being one of the “worst hospitals in the county” for Black and Latina mothers and their infants. Since 2000, the maternal mortality rate in the US has risen nearly 60%, with about 700 people dying during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth each year. More than 80% of the deaths are preventable, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The US has the highest maternal mortality rate among industrialized countries and Black women are three times more likely to die during childbirth than white women. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 3 March 2023
  2. News Article
    New research shared with HSJ has ‘laid bare’ the inequalities experienced by medical trainees, with black doctors more likely to perform worse in exams than any other ethnic group. The report published by the General Medical Council (GMC) highlights that UK medical graduates of black or black British heritage have the lowest specialty exam pass rate of all ethnic groups at 62%, which is almost 20 percentage points lower than that of white doctors (79%). It is the first time the medical regulator has split this data by ethnicity, it said. The GMC has pledged to “eliminate discrimination, disadvantage and unfairness” in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education by 2031 and the disproportionate number of fitness to practise complaints received about ethnic minority doctors and doctors who gained their medical qualification outside of the UK by 2026. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 2 March 2023
  3. News Article
    Race should be made a central part of the UK's independent public inquiry into the pandemic, campaigners say. A letter seen by BBC News, sent to the chairwoman of the Covid-19 inquiry, calls for it to look at "racism as a key issue" at every stage. Ethnic minorities were significantly more likely to die with Covid-19, according to official figures. An inquiry spokesperson said the unequal impacts of the pandemic would be at the forefront of its work. People from ethnic minority backgrounds who lost loved-ones during the pandemic also told BBC News they felt "sidelined" by the process so far. The letter to Baroness Hallett, who is chairing the inquiry, has been co-ordinated by the group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice and race equality think tank Runnymede. It calls for ethnic minority communities to be "placed firmly at the centre" of the inquiry. Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 February 2023
  4. News Article
    White applicants remain 54% more likely to be appointed from NHS job shortlistings compared to ethnic minority candidates, a metric that has hardly budged since 2016, a NHS England report has revealed. The 2022 NHS workforce race equality standard report, revealed a significant rise in the proportion of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds. And while there had been progress on some key targets since last year, others have stagnated. NHSE’s report showed ethnic minority staff comprise 24.2% of the workforce in 2022, up from 22.4% last year and from 17.7% six years ago. However, it also revealed the likelihood of white applicants being appointed from shortlists was 1.54 in 2022 than minority ethnic applicants – only a very small improvement on 1.57 in 2016, when WRES began Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 22 February 2023
  5. Content Article
    Key findings: As at 31 March 2021, 22.4% (309,532) of staff working in NHS trusts in England were from a BME background. This is an increase from 19.1% in 2018. There were 74,174 more BME staff and 71,296 more white staff in 2020 compared to 2018. The total number of BME staff at very senior manager level has increased by 69.7% since 2018 from 201 to 341. 93.5% – the proportion of trusts, where a higher proportion of BME staff compared to white staff experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from staff in the last 12 months. The number of BME board members in NHS trusts increased by 128 (38.1%) between 2020 and 2022. BME staff were 1.14 times more likely to enter the formal disciplinary process compared to white staff. This is the same as in 2021. There is a significant improvement from 2016 when the likelihood ratio was 1.56. BME staff were more than 1.25 times more likely to enter the formal disciplinary process at just under half of trusts. 1 in 4 staff experienced abuse or harassment from the public, and as many from other staff. The difference is that the abuse or harassment from the public affects both white and BME staff (this varies by region). Abuse or harassment from other staff is mostly a problem of harassment for BME staff (and is seen in all regions). White applicants were 1.54 times more likely to be appointed from shortlisting compared to BME applicants; this is lower than 2021. There has been year-on-year fluctuation but no overall improvement over the past seven years. 42.8% of women from a white Gypsy or Irish Traveller background experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from patients, relatives or the public in the last 12 months. Women from a black background (19.8%) and women from an Arabic background (18.4%), experienced high levels of discrimination from a manager/team leader or other colleagues in the last 12 months. 35.4% of staff from a black background believed their trust provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion, with levels below those of other ethnic groups since at least 2015, irrespective of gender.
  6. News Article
    People from ethnic minority backgrounds are no longer significantly more likely to die of Covid-19, new Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows. Early in the pandemic, deaths involving coronavirus were higher among black and Asian people than white people, with the highest risk among Bangladeshi, Black Caribbean and Pakistani groups. Covid mortality rates for all ethnic minorities decreased last year. The latest data shows there is no significant statistical difference between the number of Covid deaths among ethnic minorities and the white population. The ONS also said that "all cause" mortality rates - measuring how likely people are to die of any cause, including Covid-19 - have returned to pre-pandemic patterns. The reasons for this change are complex, and experts say there are "various factors" to consider. Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 February 2023
  7. News Article
    The London Ambulance Service (LAS) failing on diversity and must implement specific targets for improvements, its leadership has been warned. According to LAS data, just 20% of the workforce is from a Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background despite almost half of the capital’s population (46.2%) being made up of non-white communities. Of that 20%, 40.9% are in the lowest paid roles, compared to 15.9% who are in the highest wage bands, according to the LAS’ Integrated Performance report. The LAS is in the process of developing a new strategy to help attract more diverse staff, which will be published early next year. Research shows that ethnic minority groups suffer disproportionately higher levels of inadequate ambulance care due to a combination of issues such as a lack of cultural awareness among professionals, language and communication difficulties and a limited understanding of how the healthcare system operates for some minority groups. Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 February 2023
  8. Event
    This workshop will educate delegates about the principles of health inequality and the relationship between health equity and human rights. The workshop will cover the principles and definitions of health inequalities and how they can be measured and studied. Delegates will be given practical guidance on how to translate this knowledge into their own practice. The workshop will include a range of guest speakers from Public Health Wales, and will provide real world examples from Wales and across the world. Register for the webinar
  9. News Article
    Black people have the highest rate of sexually transmitted infections in Britain and officials are not doing enough to address the issue, sexual health experts have warned. Black Britons have “disproportionally high rates” of various STI diagnoses compared to white Britons, with those of Black Caribbean heritage specifically having the highest rates for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes and trichomoniasis. Experts have told The Independent that healthcare providers are failing to address these disparities in STIs. They have called for more research to fully understand the complicated reasons why STIs are higher among people of Black ethnicity. Research conducted through the Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) found that there were no clinical or behavioural factors explaining the disproportionately high rates of STI diagnoses among Black people. But higher rates of poverty and poor health literacy among marginalised communities are all linked with higher STI rates, according to a 2016 study, which found that behavioural and contextual factors are likely to be contributing. Moreover, experiences of racism among Black people can fuel a reluctance to engage with sexual health services and test frequently, according to HIV activist Susan Cole-Haley. She told The Independent: “I very much believe that it is linked to socioeconomic disadvantage and racism, often in healthcare settings, which can be a significant barrier for people accessing testing, for instance, and feeling comfortable engaging with care.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 19 February 2023
  10. News Article
    Rising numbers of patients in England are failing to collect their medicines or asking pharmacists which ones they can “do without” because they cannot afford prescription charges, a survey shows. NHS prescriptions are free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England there are exemptions for certain items, medical conditions and specific parts of the population, but most adults have to pay. The current prescription charge is £9.35 an item. “We are deeply concerned that people are having to make choices about their health based on their ability to pay,” said Thorrun Govind, a pharmacist and chair of English pharmacy board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), which conducted the survey. “No one should have to make choices about rationing their medicines and no one should be faced with a financial barrier to getting the medicines they need.” The findings, from a survey of 269 pharmacies, prompted the RPS to renew its call for patients with long-term conditions in England to get free prescriptions. Charges create a financial barrier to accessing medicines needed to stay well, it said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 13 February 2023
  11. Content Article
    Recommendations Better explanation of why ethnicity data is being collected. Develop better knowledge of links between ethnicity and health. Ensure ethnic categories reflect the current communities. Develop consistency in approach for recording ethnicity. A role for communities to contribute to how ethnicity is defined and categorised.
  12. News Article
    Millions of people in England with mental ill-health are not seeking NHS help, and many who get it face long delays and a “poor experience”, a report says. Long waits for care will persist for years because soaring demand, exacerbated by Covid, will continue to outstrip the ability of severely understaffed mental health services to provide speedy treatment, the National Audit Office (NAO) found. The report found that “NHS mental health services are under continued and increasing pressure and many people using services are reporting poor experiences”. Under-18s, the LGBT+ community, minority ethnic groups and people with more complex needs are most likely to find the system inadequate. “While funding and the workforce for mental health services have increased and more people have been treated, many people still cannot access services or have lengthy waits for treatment,” the NAO said. It found: An estimated 8 million people with mental health needs are not in contact with NHS services. There are 1.2 million people waiting for help from community-based mental health services. While the mental health workforce grew by 22% between 2016-17 and 2021-22, the NHS recorded a 44% increase in referrals over the same period. In 2021-22, 13% of mental health staff quit. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 9 February 2023
  13. Content Article
    Key findings Introducing access and waiting time standards for mental health services was an important step towards parity of esteem with physical health services. Overall, the number of people treated by NHS mental health services has increased, but some access targets are not being met. The NHS has achieved its waiting times standards, which aim to get people into treatment quickly, for talking therapy services and early intervention in psychosis services, but not yet for eating disorders services for children and young people. NHS mental health services are under continued and increasing pressure and many people using services are reporting poor experiences. NHS England’s ambitious plan for community-based mental health services is still at an early stage. The impact of initiatives to reduce inequalities in mental health is not yet clear. Although the NHS mental health workforce has increased, staff shortages remain the major constraint to improving and expanding services. The share of funding for mental health services has increased slowly, reflecting the pace set by NHSE’s targets Improvements to mental health data and information are taking longer than planned in many areas. DHSC and NHSE have not defined what achieving full parity of esteem between mental and physical health services would mean. Plans for service expansion up to 2023-24 still leave a sizeable gap between the number of people with mental health conditions and how many people the NHS can treat. The national programme, led by NHSE, has maintained a consistent focus on expanding services. Increased demand and disruption following the pandemic mean it is likely to take longer for the NHS to close treatment gaps.
  14. News Article
    Plans to prevent one of the deadliest cancers for women in Jamaica have been significantly set back by the Covid pandemic, new figures reveal. The scheme to vaccinate schoolgirls against cervical cancer in Jamaica – which is the cancer with the second highest death rate in the Americas – began in 2018, but the Pan American Health Organization says inoculation rates fell to just 2.71% in 2021. This represents a drastic drop from the 2019 rate of 32%, and far from the WHO target of 90% by 2030. The cancer, which is curable if caught early, kills 22 in every 100,000 women in Jamaica. By comparison, in the UK the rate is 2.4 in every 100,000, and in Canada it is 2. Prevention of cervical cancer in Jamaica is also hindered by low rates of cervical screenings. “Women are afraid of the screening process and potential pain, but there is also a fear of a cancer diagnosis itself,” said Nicola Skyers of Jamaica’s Ministry of Health. “Some people just prefer not to know. But I also think that healthcare providers don’t offer screenings often enough. If a healthcare provider is really ‘selling’ the pap smear, more often than not the woman will choose to have it.” Health workers are forced to focus on cures rather than preventions amid staffing shortages and an overburdened healthcare system, said Skyers. “As a doctor, you won’t be encouraging every women you see to do a pap smear if you have 40 patients waiting outside.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 February 2023
  15. News Article
    More than 500,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer every year by 2040, according to analysis by Cancer Research UK. In a new report, researchers project that if current trends continue, cancer cases will rise by one-third from 384,000 a year diagnosed now to 506,000 in 2040, taking the number of new cases every year to more than half a million for the first time. While mortality rates are projected to fall for many cancer types, the absolute numbers of deaths are predicted to increase by almost a quarter to 208,000. In total, it estimates that between 2023 and 2040, there could be 8.4m new cases and 3.5 million people could have died from cancer. Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, Charles Swanton, said: “By the end of the next decade, if left unaided, the NHS risks being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new cancer diagnoses. It takes 15 years to train an oncologist, pathologist, radiologist or surgeon. The government must start planning now to give patients the support they will so desperately need.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 3 February 2023