New project launched to tackle racism in healthcare

  • Date

    Thu 7 Jul 22

Three people sitting on a bench with their backs to the camera, in front of a wall covered with photographs of people from a diverse range of races and cultures.

Our School of Health and Social Care has launched a new project aimed at tackling racism in healthcare settings.

For years, staff and patients in the NHS have raised the issue of racism across the sector. In the past 12 months alone, reports have revealed that White nurses are twice as likely to be promoted as Black and Asian colleagues, while the British Medical Association announced that 75% of ethnic minority doctors experienced racism more than once in the previous two years.

Staff who experience racism are more likely to quit as a result and patients who experience racism from health professionals become reluctant to seek further treatment or care.

After receiving funding from Health Education England, the School of Health and Social Care worked to develop a platform that would bring together a collection of resources of anti-racism work.

Along with developing training modules using real-life examples of racism experienced by healthcare staff, the Dare to CARE (Creating an Anti-Racist Environment) project brings together different strands of research and material on racism in healthcare. These range from Open Access peer-reviewed research papers to news articles, blogs, and links to support groups and charities.

Professor Winifred Eboh, who led the project, said: “Dare to CARE challenges us as health and social care professionals to examine our practices to ensure that we are aware of racism within healthcare settings. Racism is a societal problem brought to the fore by the killing of George Floyd in police custody in 2020. When racism occurs in care settings it impacts so many areas, but the most concerning is the impact on patient/service users’ safety and care.”

The project aims to give everyone the resources to challenge racism in healthcare settings. HR professionals can use it to learn how to support colleagues experiencing racism. Managers and senior staff can read more about the impact of racist incidents on their staff. And viewers from all ethnic backgrounds can find out how to be actively anti-racist and how to challenge racism as witnesses.

Professor Eboh added: “All health professionals need to challenge racism in the workplace and Dare to CARE provides some areas to reflect on practice and address racist practice in a professional way. The website provides professional bodies guidance on how to deal with racism if experiencing it or a witness. Given the increasing numbers of report of racism in health and social care environments it is important that this long-term problem is addressed.”