The University of Essex launches a project to tackle racism in healthcare

The University of Essex launches a project to tackle racism in healthcare
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To tackle racism in healthcare, a new project has been launched aimed at confronting the issue of racism in the NHS.

A long-term issue in the NHS is racism. For many years, staff and patients have raised that racism is a prominent problem in the healthcare sector. Harrowing reports have revealed the prevalence of racism in healthcare, with data indicating that White nurses are twice as likely to be promoted as Black and Asian Colleagues. Furthermore, the British Medical Association announced that 75% of ethnic minority doctors experienced racism multiple times in the previous two years.

The universities School of Health and Social Care received funding from Health Education England to develop a platform that brings together anti-racism resources for the workplace.

Tackling racism in healthcare through training

The Dare to CARE (Creating and Anti-Racist Environment) project aims to develop training modules using real-life examples of racism experienced by healthcare staff. It will bring together different areas of research and material on racism in healthcare. The project team will collate Open Access peer-reviewed research papers, news releases, 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.”

Support for colleagues experiencing racism

The project will supply resources to challenge racism in healthcare settings and encourage anti-racism behaviour. The crucial assets will give HR professionals, managers and senior staff the ability to support colleagues experiencing racism in healthcare and understand more about the impact of racism on staff. Furthermore, individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can access resources to educate them further on anti-racism and how to challenge racism as a witness.

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 as a witness. Given the increasing numbers of reportings of racism in health and social care environments, it is important that this long-term problem is addressed.”


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