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Found 29 results
  1. News Article
    African American children are three times more likely than their white peers to die after surgery despite arriving at hospitals without serious underlying conditions, the latest evidence of unequal outcomes in health care, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, “We know that traditionally, African Americans have poorer health outcomes across every age strata you can look at,” said Olubukola Nafiu, the lead researcher and an anaesthesiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “One of the explanations that’s usually given for that, among many, is that African American patients tend to have higher comorbidities. They tend to be sicker.” But his research challenges that explanation, he said, by finding a racial disparity even among otherwise healthy children who came to hospitals for mostly elective surgeries. Out of 172,549 children, 36 died within a month of their operation. But of those children, nearly half were black – even though African Americans made up 11% of the patients overall. Black children had a 0.07% chance of dying after surgery, compared with 0.02% for white children. Postoperative complications and serious adverse events were also more likely among the black patients and they were more likely to require a blood transfusion, experience sepsis, have an unplanned second operation or be unexpectedly intubated. Read full story Source: The Independent, 20 July 2020
  2. News Article
    Five years after launching a plan to improve treatment of black and minority ethnic staff, NHS England data shows their experiences have got worse. Almost a third of black and minority ethnic staff in the health service have been bullied, harassed or abused by their own colleagues in the past year, according to “shameful” new data. Minority ethnic staff in the NHS have reported a worsening experience as employees across four key areas, in a blow to bosses at NHS England, five years after they launched a drive to improve race equality. Critics warned the experiences reported by BME staff raised questions over whether the health service was “institutionally racist” as experts criticised the NHS “tick box” approach and “showy but pointless interventions”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 18 February 2020
  3. News Article
    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its first figures analysis Covid-19 related deaths by ethnic group in England and Wales between March 2 and April 10. The results showed that the risk of death involving the coronavirus among Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) groups is “significantly higher” than that of those of white ethnicity. Researchers found that when taking age into account, in comparison to white men and women, black men are 4.2 times more likely to die from a Covid-19-related death and black women are 4.3 times more likely. People with Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian and mixed ethnicities have a raised risk of death, too. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 7 May 2020
  4. News Article
    The latest annual report into the deaths of people with learning disabilities has criticised the “insufficient” national response to past recommendations and called for “urgent” policy changes. The national learning disabilities mortality review programme has criticised the response from national health bodies to its previous recommendations. To date, just over 7,000 deaths have been notified to the programme and reviews have been completed for just 45%. There have been four annual reports for programme to date, and in the latest published today, the authors warned: “The response to these recommendations has been insufficient and we have not seen the sea change required to reassure [families] that early deaths are being prevented." “It is long over-due that we should now have concerted national-level policy change in response to the issues raised in this report and previous others. A commitment to take forward the recommendations in a meaningful and determined way is urgently required.” The latest report also warns that black, Asian and ethnic minority children with learning disabilities die “disproportionately” younger compared to other ethnicities. It also found system problems and gaps in service provision were more likely to contribute to deaths in BAME people with learning disabilities. Read full story Source: HSJ, 16 July 2020
  5. News Article
    Some NHS trusts in England are yet to complete /cOVID-19 risk assessments for their staff from ethnic minority groups more than two months after the NHS first told them to do so, an investigation by The BMJ has found. On 29 April NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, wrote to all NHS leaders telling them to carry out risk assessments and make “appropriate arrangements” to protect ethnic minority staff, amid growing evidence that they were at greater risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19. However, The BMJ asked England’s 140 acute care trusts for details of risk assessments they had carried out and what subsequent actions they had put in place. Seventy trusts responded. Of these, 27 (39%) said that assessments were yet to be completed for all ethnic minority staff, and 43 (61%) indicated that assessments had been completed. But the other 70 trusts were unable to provide a response within the 20 day deadline, citing “unprecedented challenges” posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is not known what stage they are at in risk assessing staff. Commenting on The BMJ’s findings, Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA’s chair of council, said, “Clearly, we know that a significant number of doctors have not been risk assessed. It is a shame that it has taken so long, because the risk assessments and mitigations would have been most useful and impactful during the peak of the virus.” Doctors’ leaders have suggested that systemic race inequalities in the workplace may have exacerbated delays in risk assessing staff. Nagpaul said, “The BMA survey found that doctors from a BAME [black, Asian, and minority ethnic] background felt under more pressure to see patients without adequate protection. So it does beg the question of whether there’s also been this added factor of BAME healthcare staff feeling unable to demand their right to being assessed and protected." “This is something the NHS needs to tackle. This is an issue that predates covid. It’s vital that we have an NHS where anyone is able to voice their concerns. No one should have to suffer or have fear in silence.” Read full story Source: The BMJ, 10 July 2020
  6. News Article
    NHS staff from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds should be “risk-assessed” and possibly moved away from patient-facing roles during the coronavirus crisis, according to official guidance. A letter from NHS England acknowledges UK data showing these workers are being “disproportionately affected by Covid-19” and urges health trusts to make “appropriate arrangements”. Public Health England has been asked to look into the issue by the Department of Health, the letter from NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens and chief operating officer Amanda Pritchard said. “In advance of their report and guidance, on a precautionary basis we recommend employers should risk assess staff at a potentially greater risk and make appropriate arrangements accordingly,” he added. This could mean BAME health workers being relocated away from patient-facing roles or ensuring they are adequately fitted with personal protective equipment (PPE). Read full story Source: The Independent, 30 April 2020
  7. News Article
    More than 16% of people who had tested positive for coronavirus when they died were from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, new data shows. On Monday, NHS England released data showing the ethnic breakdown of people who have died with coronavirus for the first time. The statistics come days after a review was announced to examine what appears to be a disproportionate number of BAME people who have been affected by Covid-19. Last week Downing Street confirmed the NHS and Public Health England will lead the review of evidence, following pressure on ministers to launch an investigation. Discussing the review, Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said ethnicity is "less clear" than three others factors in determining who is most at risk from coronavirus. Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 April 2020
  8. News Article
    Amid warnings that BAME nursing staff may be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) survey reveals that they are more likely to struggle to secure adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) while at work. The latest RCN member-wide survey shows that for nursing staff working in high-risk environments (including intensive and critical care units), only 43% of respondents from a BAME background said they had enough eye and face protection equipment. This is in stark contrast to 66% of white British nursing staff. There were also disparities in access to fluid-repellent gowns and in cases of nursing staff being asked to re-use single-use PPE items. The survey found similar gaps for those working in non-high-risk environments. Meanwhile, staff reported differences in PPE training, with 40% of BAME respondents saying they had not had training compared with just 31% of white British respondents. Nearly a quarter of BAME nursing staff said they had no confidence that their employer is doing enough to protect them from COVID-19, compared with only 11% of white British respondents. Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said: “It is simply unacceptable that we are in a situation where BAME nursing staff are less protected than other nursing staff. Read full story Source: Royal College of Nursing, 27 May 2020
  9. News Article
    The government removed a key section from Public Health England’s review (published Tuesday) of the relative risk of COVID-19 to specific groups, HSJ has discovered. The review reveals the virus poses a greater risk to those who are older, male and overweight. The risk is also described as “disproportionate” for those with Asian, Caribbean and black ethnicities. It makes no attempt to explain why the risk to BAME groups should be higher. An earlier draft of the review which was circulated within government last week contained a section which included responses from the 1,000-plus organisations and individuals who supplied evidence to the review. Many of these suggested that discrimination and poorer life chances were playing a part in the increased risk of COVID-19 to those with BAME backgrounds. HSJ understands this section was an annex to the report but could also stand alone. Typical was the following recommendation from the response by the Muslim Council of Britain, which stated: “With high levels of deaths of BAME healthcare workers, and extensive research showing evidence and feelings of structural racism and discrimination in the NHS, PHE should consider exploring this in more detail, and looking into specific measures to tackle the culture of discrimination and racism. It may also be of value to issue a clear statement from the NHS that this is not acceptable, committing to introducing change.” One source with knowledge of the review said the section “did not survive contact with Matt Hancock’s office” over the weekend. Read full story Source: HSJ, 2 June 2020
  10. News Article
    Factors such as racism and social inequality may have contributed to increased risks of black, Asian and minority communities catching and dying from COVID-19, a leaked report says. Historic racism may mean that people are less likely to seek care or to demand better personal protective equipment, says the Public Health England (PHE) draft, seen by the BBC. Other possible factors include risks linked to occupation and inequalities in conditions such as diabetes may increase disease severity. The report, the second by PHE on the subject, pointed to racism and discrimination as a root cause affecting health and the risk of both exposure to the virus and becoming seriously ill. It said stakeholders expressed "deep dismay, anger, loss and fear in their communities" as data emerged suggesting COVID-19 was "exacerbating existing inequalities". And it found "historic racism and poorer experiences of healthcare or at work" meant individuals in BAME groups were less likely to seek care when needed or to speak up when they had concerns about personal protective equipment or risk. The report concluded: "The unequal impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities may be explained by a number of factors ranging from social and economic inequalities, racism, discrimination and stigma, occupational risk, inequalities in the prevalence of conditions that increase the severity of disease including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and asthma." Read full story Source: BBC News, 13 June 2020
  11. News Article
    More than two-thirds of black, Asian and minority ethnic pharmacists have not had workplace risk assessments for coronavirus, a survey suggests. Of the 380 hospital and community-based pharmacists surveyed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the UK Black Pharmacists Association, 236 were from a BAME background. Of those, 166 (70%) said they had not been approached by their employer to have a risk assessment. The RPS called the results "shocking". It has called on employers to take urgent action to ensure ethnic minority pharmacists are risk assessed. Read full story Source: BBC News, 26 June 2020
  12. News Article
    After new analysis showed pregnant black women were eight times more likely and Asian women four times as likely to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19, the NHS is rolling out additional support for pregnant women of a Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) background. Given evidence of the heightened risk to BAME expectant mums, urgent action is being taken in England including increasing uptake of Vitamin D and undertaking outreach in neighbourhoods and communities in their area. Research carried out by Oxford University has shown 55% of pregnant women admitted to hospital with coronavirus are from a BAME background, even though they represent only a quarter of the births in England and Wales. In response, England’s most senior midwife, Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, has written to all maternity units in the country calling on them to take four specific actions to minimise avoidable COVID-19 risk for BAME women and their babies. The steps include: Increasing support of at-risk pregnant women – e.g. making sure clinicians have a lower threshold to review, admit and consider multidisciplinary escalation in women from a BAME background. Reaching out and reassuring pregnant BAME women with tailored communications. Ensuring hospitals discuss vitamins, supplements and nutrition in pregnancy with all women. Women low in vitamin D may be more vulnerable to coronavirus so women with darker skin or those who always cover their skin when outside may be at particular risk of vitamin D insufficiency and should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D all year. Ensuring all providers record on maternity information systems the ethnicity of every woman, as well as other risk factors, such as living in a deprived area (postcode), co-morbidities, BMI and aged 35 years or over, to identify those most at risk of poor outcomes. Read full story Source: NHE, 29 June 2020
  13. News Article
    A report containing measures to protect ethnic minority groups from coronavirus has been drawn up for government, BBC News has learned. Public Health England (PHE) published a review last week confirming coronavirus kills people from ethnic minorities at disproportionately high rates. But a senior academic told BBC News a second report, containing safeguarding proposals to tackle this, also existed. And PHE now says this report will be published next week. Labour described the decision not to immediately publish the second report as "scandalous and a tragedy". Read full story Source: BBC News, 11 June 2020
  14. Community Post
    This topic has been created to provide our members with a space to share COVID-19 risk assessments for BAME staff. You can share your risk assessment resources by commenting below and adding an attachment. We've kicked things off by sharing an example below. If you are not yet a member of the hub, you'll need to sign up here first - it's quick and easy to do. By collaborating and sharing learning, we hope to reduce risk. Risk ax form .doc
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