NHS Providers responds to RCN's survey on racism in health and care

08 June 2022

Responding to the Royal College of Nursing's (RCN's) research which found racism as endemic in health and care, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"As the largest employer of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the country, the NHS must recognise and confront the structural racism and discrimination that still exists within its ranks.

"These important findings are the latest in a long string of evidence highlighting the unacceptable presence of structural racism within our health and care system.

"Time after time we see similar findings that show ethnic minority staff face higher levels of discrimination, and are more likely to face bullying, harassment or abuse from patients or colleagues.

"There is also clear evidence that patients from ethnic minority backgrounds have worse experiences of healthcare than their white counterparts. This must be addressed as we bear down on waiting lists by having a particular focus on correcting inequalities of access to healthcare linked to ethnicity or deprivation.

"It is only by recognising these facts and having an honest conversation about racism, its structural roots and its impact, that change can be achieved.

"Every leader across the NHS and government has a duty to actively work to eliminate inequality based on race. NHS boards and senior leaders must demonstrate the behaviours expected and needed – collectively and individually – to dispel prejudices.

"With the NHS facing a workforce crisis, it has never been more important to ensure that the NHS is a safe and fair place to work for all its staff, regardless of their protected characteristics."