‘Structural racism’ found in the NHS is holding back black and Asian nurses


According to a survey conducted by the Royal College of Nursing, white nurses are much more likely to be promoted than black and Asian staff. The UK-wide survey of nearly 10,000 nurses found the gap was widest among people aged 35-44. While about two in three nurses who are white (66%) and of mixed ethnicity (64%) had achieved at least one career step promotion, only 38% of Asian nurses and 35% of black nurses had progressed through the ranks .

The RCN says its biennial jobs survey shows how ‘structural racism’ is having a ‘devastating impact’ on ethnic minority nurses in other areas too. The survey found that nearly four in 10 black nurses (39%) had experienced physical violence while working in a hospital, compared to 32% of white nurses, 27% of Asian nurses and 34% of those from mixed ethnicity.

Black (32%) and Asian (30%) nurses experienced more physical violence when working in a community setting than white (20%) or mixed ethnicity (19%) nurses. The RCN has now called on the government to use its planned human rights law reform to ensure that health and care organisations, regulators and inspectorates are held accountable to tackle racism, including At work.

RCN Diversity and Equalities Coordinator Bruno Daniel said: “The pandemic has brought structural racism into the spotlight in health and care services and we must seize this opportunity to eradicate this despicable behavior once and for all. . The UK Government and Devolved Administrations must recognize and properly address this issue and the devastating impact it has on black and minority ethnic staff and patients.

It comes as the government releases a landmark review of health and social care leadership. The review revealed a lack of coherence and coordination and that an ‘institutional deficiency’ had developed in the way leadership and management are trained, developed and valued.

It also found evidence of “poor behaviors and attitudes such as discrimination, bullying and cultures of blame” as well as a “lack of equal opportunity for managers to access training and colleagues in advance in their career”, which means that staff have “existing networks or contacts”. ” had better opportunities. The review makes seven recommendations – all of which have been accepted by the government – including “measures to improve equality, diversity and inclusion”.

General Sir Gordon Messenger, who led the review with Dame Linda Pollard, said: “A well-led, motivated, valued, collaborative, inclusive and resilient workforce is key to better patient and health outcomes. public health, and must be a priority. The best organizations are those that invest in their people to unlock their potential, foster leadership and accountability at all levels, with good leadership across the workforce. This must be the goal and I believe our recommendations have the potential to transform the leadership and management of health care and social services towards this end.


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