NHS still has huge task ahead on race, says UNISON

Bullying, harassment and abuse are a disgrace

Commenting on the NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) report today, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“It’s disgraceful that bullying, harassment and abuse are on the rise for black staff. And that it’s increasing from colleagues, as well as patients, is of deep concern.

“Many staff feel nothing will be done by their employer and all too often they’ve no support from colleagues.

“Racist abuse damages the confidence, health and well-being of black staff, forcing many to leave their jobs.

“As well as the devastating effect on the individuals targeted, it’s distressing for patients to witness and adds to the NHS staffing crisis.

“Improvements in recruitment, disciplinary processes and access to training are slowing. The gaps for black staff are still too wide and nothing makes up for the grinding daily toll of abuse.

“All staff must be encouraged to call out every incident and work with employers to establish measures to combat bigotry in all its forms. This is the aim of UNISON’s race for equality campaign.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON’s race for equality campaign was launched in October 2019 to stamp out stamp out racism in the NHS. Further details can be found here.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Anthony Barnes T: 0207 121 5255  M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk
Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk