The Independent

NHS race shame

Leaked report shows one in three staff of colour face bullying or discrimina­tion in health service


One-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 per cent saying they have been targeted in the past year, compared to 20 per cent of white staff. Despite being one-quarter of the workforce, minority ethnic staff make up just 10 per cent of the most senior positions, the NHS’s flagship report is set to reveal. 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. “Racism is driving nurses out of the NHS,” Ms Bennett told The Independen­t. As the NHS prepares to publish its annual Workforce Race Equality Standard report, it will show that the number of minority staff has increased by 100,000 since 2018. Despite this, it is struggling to make progress on equity with just two-fifths of staff reporting that their hospital provides equal opportunit­ies and just 10 per cent of minority staff in top hospital roles. One nurse told The Independen­t she was forced to leave her job following a campaign of bullying, while another said the discrimina­tion she faced affected her mental health.

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