Many BAME Doctors Say They Did Not Have COVID-19 Risk Assessment25 Jun 2020
Two months after NHS England recommended that COVID-19 risk assessments should be carried out on doctors, nurses and staff of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, many continue to work without appropriate risk assessments.
These figures were revealed in a survey carried out among 7,500 doctors last week. Many BAME staff also said that they continue to feel less protected from the coronavirus and that nearly half were pressured to see patients without proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
A survey was carried out among 7,500 doctors
These stark and worrying figures were revealed in a survey carried out among 7,500 doctors last week.
The survey revealed that more than a third of the doctors of BAME backgrounds still did not have a COVID-19 risk assessment that was recommended by NHS England two months ago. Despite this, however, it showed that BAME doctors are, overall, more likely to receive a risk assessment.
The finds of the survey also match up to earlier findings that BAME doctors feel insufficiently protected against COVID-19. In the responses, 46% of BAME doctors said that they feel less protected from the coronavirus. This figure contrasts starkly to white doctors only 29% of whom felt the same way.
Of greater concern, around 40% of BAME doctors said that they felt ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’ pressured to see patients without proper PPE. Only 20% of white doctors said that they feel the same.
These findings are “extremely troubling”
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the chair of the British Medical Association, said that the findings are ‘extremely troubling’. Nagpaul said that the NHS had heeded some of the advice towards protecting staff but added that it is clear that more needs to be done. He added that the BMA had called for a national risk assessment tool to be rolled out across England but said that this has not yet been delivered, resulting in inconsistent application and assessment.
Indeed, since it has been revealed that BAME doctors are more vulnerable to the coronavirus due to a variety of factors, NHS trusts were recommended to take protective steps such as redeploying at-risk doctors away from front-line positions.
The findings of the survey suggest that while some corrective steps may have been taken, these steps appear to be piecemeal and inconsistently applied across the country, resulting in continued risks to doctors, nurses and staff.