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Found 53 results
  1. News Article
    The General Medical Council (GMC) has achieved marginal improvements against its targets to reduce racial inequalities, it said in an annual update on the programme. However, BAME doctor representatives as well as the GMC itself said the progress was not sufficient against the targets which the regulator had set itself last year. These included stopping disproportionate complaints from employers about ethnic minority doctors by 2026, and getting rid of disadvantage and discrimination in medical education and training by 2031. According to the update, the gap between employer referral rates for ethnic minority doctors and international medical graduates, compared to white doctors, has marginally reduced. The report also acknowledged the judgment by an employment tribunal in June last year, which found that the GMC had discriminated against a doctor based on his race. Reading Employment Tribunal upheld a complaint that Dr Omer Karim, who previously worked as a consultant urologist in Slough, had been discriminated against during an investigation by the GMC, after the body dismissed charges against a white doctor accused of the same conduct. The GMC has appealed the verdict but is still waiting for the appeal to be heard. Read full story Source: Pulse, 10 March 2022
  2. News Article
    A quarter of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) non-executive directors of NHS trusts have seen or experienced discrimination in the course of their work, a report reveals. While almost four out of five (79%) of these BAME non-executives said they challenged such behaviour when they encountered it, only half (50%) said that led to a change of policy or behaviour. The other half felt they had been ‘fobbed off’ or subjected to actively hostile behaviour for having spoken up,” says a report commissioned by the Seacole Group, which represents most of the BAME non-executive board members of NHS trusts in England. It adds: “This level of discrimination is unacceptable anywhere and even more so in the boardrooms of NHS organisations. Too many Black, Asian and other ethnic NEDs (non-executive directors) are being subjected to it and left to deal with it on their own.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 July 2022
  3. News Article
    Just over half of senior ethnic minority leaders have considered leaving the NHS due to experiencing workplace racism a survey suggests. The survey was carried out by the NHS Confederation’s BME Leadership Network and its 123 respondents included chief executives, directors and senior managers. Responses were collected from network members online before three roundtables were held with senior ethnic minority leaders to understand their experiences and the challenges they have faced in relation to discrimination. The survey found: 51% of respondents said they had considered leaving the NHS in the past three years because of their experience of racist treatment while working. More than 20% said they had experienced verbal abuse or abusive behaviour targeting racial, national or cultural heritage five times or more in the last three years. 69% had experienced this behaviour from other leaders or managers within their organisation at least once in the same timeframe. 57% had experienced it from leaders or managers in another organisation at least once over the same period. Joan Saddler, NHS Confederation’s director of equality and partnerships, said the NHS was at risk of losing “committed, highly skilled and motivated talent to institutional racism and discrimination”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 June 2022 You may also be interested in reading: BMA: Racism in medicine
  4. News Article
    All the NHS’s 1.5m staff in England should tackle discrimination against disadvantaged groups, not just bosses and specialist diversity teams, a major review has concluded. NHS trusts will need fewer equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) teams if action against discrimination does become “the responsibility of all”, according to the report. The review of NHS leadership said the health service should adopt a different approach to equality issues in order to overcome the widely recognised disadvantages faced by certain groups of its own staff, which include lower pay and chances of promotion among Black and ethnic minority doctors compared with white medics and low BAME representation in senior managerial ranks. The inquiry, undertaken by Genl Sir Gordon Messenger and Dame Linda Pollard, was commissioned last year by Sajid Javid, the health secretary. The report concluded that: “Most critically, we advocate a step-change in the way the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded as the personal responsibility of every leader and every member of staff. “Although good practice is by no means rare, there is widespread evidence of considerable inequity in experience and opportunity for those with protected characteristics, of which we would call out race and disability as the most starkly disadvantaged. “The only way to tackle this effectively is to mainstream it as the responsibility of all, to demand from everyone awareness of its realities and to sanction those that don’t meet expectations.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 8 June 2022
  5. News Article
    A third of Black and ethnic minority health staff have suffered racism or bullying as the NHS fails to address “systemic” levels of discrimination, The Independent can reveal. Levels of bullying and harassment of minority workers have not improved in the past five years with almost 30% saying they have been targeted in the past year, compared to 20%of white staff. Despite being one-quarter of the workforce, minority ethnic staff make up just 10% of the most senior positions, the NHS’s flagship report is set to reveal. One nurse told The Independent she was forced to leave her job following a campaign of bullying, while another, who has left for the private sector, said her mental health was hugely impacted by the discrimination she experienced. Another nurse said she was left “traumatised” by bullying and harassment and she was “gaslighted” by her employer. “This incident is going to affect me for the rest of my life … when I first joined [the NHS trust] I thought I was going to retire there but ... my career [has been cut] short and it’s not fair,” she said. Equality for Black Nurses, a membership organisation founded by Neomi Bennett in 2020, has launched 200 cases of alleged racism against a number of NHS trusts since it was set up. “Racism is driving nurses out of the NHS,” Ms Bennett, told The Independent, warning that this issue had reached “pandemic levels”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 24 January 2023
  6. News Article
    Black patients wait up to six months longer for an organ transplant than the general population, new NHS data shows. The best match comes from someone of the same ethnicity - but only 2% of donors in 2021/22 were black, while black people are 4% of the population. Black families are also less likely to agree to organ donation than white families, the figures show. The NHS says there's an "urgent need" for more people from ethnic minorities to donate. Winnie Andango from NHS Blood and Transplant said, "Black people wait longer because there's less people coming forward to give their organs from their ethnic group. During covid, so many patients were suspended but those have been added back onto the list, and that means if we had less organs for this ethnic minority group, we have even less right now." Health Minister Neil O'Brien said: "We need more people, especially those from black and Asian heritage, to register their organ donation decision and share it with their family so loved ones can follow their wishes." Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 January 2023
  7. News Article
    Britons of black and south Asian origin with dementia die younger and sooner after being diagnosed than white people, research has found. South Asian people die 2.97 years younger and black people 2.66 years younger than their white counterparts, according to a study by academics from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. A team led by Dr Naaheed Mukadam, from UCL’s division of psychiatry, reached their conclusions after studying health records covering the 21 years between 1997 and 2018 of 662,882 people across the UK who were aged over 65. They found that: Dementia rates have increased across all ethnic groups. Black people are 22% more likely to get dementia than their white peers. Dementia is 17% less common among those of south Asian background. But they have voiced concern about also discovering that south Asian and black people are diagnosed younger, survive for less time and die younger than white people. “The earlier age of dementia diagnosis in people of black and south Asian [origin] … may be related to the higher prevalence of some risk factors for dementia such as, in older south Asians, fewer years of education, and in both groups hypertension [high blood pressure], diabetes and obesity,” they write in their paper, published in the medical journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 18 September 2022
  8. News Article
    The rate of people from black backgrounds being restrained in mental healthcare has more than doubled in the past six years, widening the gap with other racial groups, according to official NHS data. Standardised rates of black and black British people subject to restrictive interventions – including physical, chemical and mechanical restraints – have leapt from 52.1 per 100,000 people in 2016-17 to 106.2 in 2021-22. That is compared to a much smaller increase of 30% in the same period for people from white backgrounds, from 15.8 per 100,000 to 20.5. NHS race and health observatory director Habib Naqvi told HSJ he was “very concerned” at the rise. He said a “range of complex causes are likely to be presented to account for this pattern”, including disparities in care pathways, late presentation and lack of timely diagnosis, and general overuse of restrictive practice on people from minority ethnic backgrounds. He added: “It is critical we also focus on ‘causes of the causes’ of these disparities, including the impact of discrimination and bias on access, experience and therefore outcomes of mental health services.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 24 November 2022
  9. News Article
    A clinical commissioning group (CCG) has ordered an independent review of its culture which it said was prompted by the “injustices experienced by black Asian and minority ethic colleagues” during the pandemic, HSJ has learned. The review at Surrey Heartlands CCG, due to report in the autumn, is being led by Duncan Lewis, emeritus professor of management at Plymouth University. He has led several major reviews into culture at NHS organisations, including one into bullying and harassment at South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust in 2017 and one into workplace culture at Whittington Health Trust in 2018. HSJ asked the CCG for the terms of reference of the review and the reasons why it felt it necessary to commission such an inquiry. It said the review’s scope would be determined by what staff felt was important regarding “our organisational culture, policy and practice – things we do well and things we need to improve”. It added in a statement: “We will listen to the findings of the review and we will make any changes that are necessary.” It is not yet clear if specific events within the organisation itself prompted the CCG to take the unusual step of commissioning the work. But the commissioner’s interim chief did say “feedback from staff” had been a driver. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 26 August 2020
  10. News Article
    A healthy population is one of any nation’s most important assets. We have known for a long time that not everyone has the same opportunity to access the things they need to lead a healthy life, such as good quality work and safe secure stable housing. Now we can see that the COVID-19 pandemic is replicating and exacerbating deep-rooted health inequalities. Without concerted action, this health crisis will also become a health inequalities crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought health inequalities into sharp focus. While every part of the population has been affected by the current crisis, some communities have been hit much harder both by the virus itself and by the measures taken to control its spread. Evidence is starting to emerge, for example, of the unequal impact of the shutdown of the economy. For example a recent survey of UK households found that the lowest earners have been worst hit by loss of earnings, with the most severe losses for single parents. The uneven impact of COVID-19 has also highlighted the inequalities faced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Recent data shows that some ethnic groups are at much higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than the rest of the population (e.g. Black men are four times more likely to have died of COVID-19 than their White peers). Read full article here.
  11. News Article
    More than one in five GP partners said they removed practice staff away from face-to-face care due to ethnicity during the pandemic, a Pulse survey has revealed. The survey in June revealed that 84 of the 378 respondents said that ‘ethnicity was a crucial factor in removing anyone in your practice away from face-to-face assessments’. Around 70% of respondents said they had been counting ethnicity as a factor when risk assessing staff. See full article here
  12. Content Article
    Older generations are becoming more diverse than ever, but also more unequal. Tackling these inequalities is important to ensure that everyone is able to live a good later life. This set of downloadable 'evidence cards' by the Centre for Ageing Better highlights the severe inequalities experienced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups approaching retirement age, and what causes these inequalities. The evidence cards are available to download as both PDF and image files.
  13. Content Article
    In this blog for Refinery 29, journalist L'Oréal Blackett discusses the additional risk and associated worries faced by black pregnant women in the UK. With black women four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, and 40% more likely to suffer a miscarriage, she examines what action the government is taking to improve outcomes for black women and their babies. She speaks to a number of campaigners who highlight the importance of including black women at every stage of research and policy to tackle race-based health inequalities, and who question whether this is being done by the UK government's new Maternity Disparities Taskforce. She also argues that empowering women to make informed, evidence-based decisions is the most effective way to improve maternal safety for black women.
  14. Content Article
    As well as a moral issue, tackling racism affecting NHS staff is a crucial part of improving patient safety and care, says MDX Research Fellow Roger Kline. In this blog, Roger looks at the risks of racism on patient safety.
  15. Content Article
    This video by the charity Birthrights encourages women and birthing people to speak out when they experience poor quality care. It highlights the right to safe and appropriate maternity care that respects individuals' dignity, privacy and confidentiality and is given equally and without discrimination.
  16. Content Article
    This is the recording of a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) online event with actor David Harewood in conversation with mental health workers Simon Arday and Kojo Bonsu. Drawing on expertise from Black health care professionals and those with lived experience, the event explored what needs to be done to improve black people's experiences of mental health services. The event was chaired by Catherine Gamble RCN Fellow and Associate Director of Nursing Education South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust.
  17. Content Article
    This report by Roger Kline brings together a range of research evidence to suggest practical steps NHS employers can take to reduce inequalities in staff recruitment and career progression. It specifically focuses on the treatment of female, disabled and BAME staff. Written for practitioners, it summarises some of the research evidence on fair recruitment and career progression. It highlights principles drawn from research that underpin the suggestions made for improving each stage of recruitment and career progression.
  18. Content Article
    This joint letter calls on Nadine Dorries MP, Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, to urgently fund a confidential enquiry into the deaths of Asian and Asian British babies. It is signed by the Chief Executives of Sands, The Royal College of Midwives, NCT and the President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
  19. Content Article
    In this blog, David Buck and Toby Lewis of the King's Fund describe NHS England and NHS Improvement's new 'Core20plus5' approach to tackling health inequalities. They identify risks to the effectiveness of the strategy and highlight the importance of a partnership approach to tackling health inequalities.
  20. Community Post
    The recent press release from the UK Government outlines a White Paper which contains the reforms: "Major reform of Mental Health Act will empower individuals to have more control over their treatment and deliver on a key manifesto commitment. Reforms will deliver parity between mental and physical health services and put patients’ views at the centre of their care. Plan will tackle mental health inequalities including disproportionate detention of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, the use of the act to detain people with learning disabilities and autism, and improve care for patients within the criminal justice system..." The report covers: "A package of reforms has been set out in a wide-ranging new Reforming the Mental Health Act white paper, which builds on the recommendations made by Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act in 2018. At the heart of the proposed reforms to the Mental Health Act is greater choice and autonomy for patients in a mental health crisis, ensuring the act’s powers are used in the least restrictive way, that patients receive the care they need to help them recover and all patients are viewed and treated as individuals. These reforms aim to tackle the racial disparities in mental health services, better meet the needs of people with learning disabilities and autism and ensure appropriate care for people with serious mental illness within the criminal justice system." Do you work for Mental Health services? Are you someone who uses Mental Health services? What are your views?
  21. News Article
    An independent body set up by the NHS to tackle health inequalities has formally committed to never use blanket acronyms such as “BAME” after feedback that they are not representative. The NHS Race and Health Observatory launched a four-week consultation with the public in July on how best to collectively refer to people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. The Observatory said it has become the norm in public policy to use initialisms to refer to a “hugely diverse” group of people, but that renewed scrutiny has been spurred on by the Black Lives Matter movement. It said terminology that “crudely conflates” different groups “does not just erase identities; it can also lead to broad brush policy decisions that fail to appreciate the nuance of ethnic inequality in the UK”. Generic collective terms such as “BAME”, “BME” and “ethnic minority” are “not representative or universally popular”, the Observatory said after receiving responses from 5,104 people. It found no single, collective umbrella term to describe ethnic groups was agreed by the majority of respondents. The body had previously said it was committed to avoiding the use of acronyms and initialisms, but has now formalised this as one of five key principles it is adopting in its communications. Where possible it will be specific about the ethnic groups it is referring to, but where collective terminology is necessary it will “always be guided by context and not adopt a blanket term”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 November 2021
  22. News Article
    Black women are more than four times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than white women in the UK, a review of 2017-2019 deaths shows. The MBRRACE-UK report found women from Asian backgrounds are almost twice as likely to die as white women. Some 495 individuals died during pregnancy or up to a year after birth, out of 2,173,810 having a child. The charity Birthrights is concerned that overall "this bleak picture has not changed in over a decade". University of Oxford researchers say for the vast majority of people, pregnancy remains very safe in the UK. But despite slight decreases in the maternal death rate in recent years, there have been no significant improvements to these rates since the 2010 to 2012 period. Their current report shows heart disease, epilepsy and stroke continue to be the most common causes of death. And they say in some 37% of cases, improvements in care may have made a difference to the outcome. Lead researcher, Prof Marian Knight, said: "Pregnant women get inequitable care for several reasons. "Healthcare professionals often attribute their symptoms to pregnancy alone and they do not always end up getting the treatment they need because people can be incorrectly concerned about giving them medication. "On top of that is the unconscious bias that black and Asian women can experience. It all adds up. "We know from other studies that the disparity in death rates cannot be fully explained by socio-economic factors and other medical conditions for example. We need to look for other reasons." Read full story Source: BBC News, 11 November 2021
  23. News Article
    Stillbirth rates remain "exceptionally high" for black and Asian babies in the UK, a report examining baby loss in 2019 has found. The figures come despite improving numbers overall, with some 610 fewer stillbirths in 2019 than in 2013. The MBBRACE-UK report found babies of mothers living in deprived areas are at higher risk of stillbirths and neonatal deaths than those in other places. Charities say there is an urgent need to tackle inequalities around birth. There were some 2,399 stillbirths (a death occurring before or during birth once a pregnancy has reached 24 weeks) and 1,158 neonatal deaths (babies who die in the first 28 days of life) in the UK in 2019. The report, by the Universities of Leicester and Oxford, found: Overall stillbirth rates fell from 4.2 per 1,000 births in 2013 to 3.35 per 1,000 births in 2019 For babies of black and black British ethnicity, stillbirth rates were 7.23 per 1,000 births For babies of Asian and Asian British ethnicity, stillbirth rates were 5.05 per 1,000 births For babies of white ethnicity, stillbirth rates were 3.22 per 1,000 births. Read full story Source: BBC News, 15 October 2021
  24. News Article
    White doctors applying for medical posts in London are six times more likely to be offered a job than black applicants, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show. The new data also show that white doctors are four times more likely to be successful than Asian candidates or candidates from a mixed ethnic background. The figures were uncovered by Sheila Cunliffe, a senior human resources professional who works in workforce transformation across the NHS and the wider public sector. Cunliffe sent freedom of information requests to all 18 NHS acute trusts in London asking for a breakdown by ethnicity for 2020-21 of the numbers of applicants for medical jobs, shortlisted candidates, and candidates offered positions. Twelve of the 18 trusts shared their full unredacted data with The BMJ on all grades of job applications. Across these 12 trusts, 29% (4675 of 15 853) of white applicants were shortlisted in 2020-21, compared with 13% (2041 of 15 515) of black applicants, 14% (8406 of 59 211) of Asian applicants, and 15% (1620 of 10 860) of applicants of mixed ethnicity. Overall, 7% (1148) of white applicants were offered jobs, compared with 1% (188) of black applicants, 2% (1050) of Asian applicants, and 2% (188) of applicants of mixed ethnicity. Cunliffe said that the findings were just one indicator of the barriers that applicants from ethnic minorities faced. “The racism some of these results point to will be replicated in the day-to-day lived experience of staff working within the trust,” she said. “NHSEI [NHS England and NHS Improvement] need to look at data in a more detailed way and, where needed, set out to trusts their clear expectations and targets for improvement.” Read full story Source: BMJ, 13 October 2021
  25. News Article
    Nearly 100 trusts have no ‘very senior managers’ (VSM) who are declared to be from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background, HSJ analysis has revealed. According to data obtained from every NHS provider in England, 96 out of 214 (45%) did not have any VSMs declared as being from a BAME background. This includes several large providers, such as The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust — where around 9 per cent of the workforce and 15 per cent of the city’s population are BAME — and Liverpool University Hospitals FT. Jon Restell, chief executive of the Managers in Partnership trade union, said the underrepresentation of BAME staff in leadership positions has “dangerously damaged” the NHS’ response to coronavirus, labelling it the “ultimate wake-up call”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 November 2020
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