Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: “This comprehensive report from the NHS Race and Health Observatory is a shocking indictment of the scale of harm that racism is causing millions of people in the UK. The findings show that people from ethnic minority backgrounds are being failed within the health service across all age groups and clinical areas. As patients receive poorer care on the basis of race, the NHS is failing to honour its core value; to treat everyone equally.
“Millions of people are not only faced with poorer health outcomes but are also experiencing racism when interacting with the NHS and this report, which is the first of its kind, highlights the fact that these experiences have been hidden and concealed due to a lack of data. The data in this report is unacceptable and shows that racism within the healthcare service follows millions of people - right from birth to death. This can no longer be ignored - there is a moral duty to put this right as matter of urgency.
“The Government must openly acknowledge structural racism within the NHS and the barriers that it creates - something it failed to do in its own race disparity report last year. Those responsible for our health service must develop a cross-government action plan with tangible outcomes, timescales and agreement across the NHS. Crucially this action plan must be done in an open and transparent manner with involvement from people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Frankly, people are tired of hearing about processes all while experiencing shocking levels of care on a daily basis – we need action now. We need a health service that delivers based upon its founding principles.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.