Shropshire Star

Extent of racism faced by health and care staff in Shropshire is revealed in shock report

Racist incidents including physical attacks are reported by health and social care staff in Shropshire on a "daily basis", a meeting heard.

Patricia Davies

The shocking depth of "unacceptable" race-based actions by patients and fellow members of staff against people on the front line of care has been revealed in a new report carried out by academics at the University of Wolverhampton.

The report, titled "Perceptions and experience of racism in the workplace by health and social care staff in Shropshire, Wrekin and Telford", was discussed at the April meeting of the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care Board.

Patricia Davies, the chief executive of the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, said they are getting reports back "on a daily basis" of racism, misogyny and sexism.

She pointed to one particularly disturbing incident where two staff working in the community were subjected to racial and physical attacks.

Ms Davies told her fellow health leaders: "We had a very sad case before Christmas where two members of staff in the community were racially and physically attacked, which is unacceptable."

A spokesperson for the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust said that the incident was reported to the police and the trust would not be commenting further.

Ms Davies added that they receive reports back "on a daily basis" involving racism, sexism and misogyny.

The report said that the kind of incidents being suffered by workers is more often than not "shrugged off" by employees because they have got so used to it happening.

Other leaders across the primary care, social care and council sectors spoke of the need to tackle the issue.

David Sidaway, chief executive of Telford & Wrekin Council, said that the report did not represent what is happening in his authority's social care teams.

He said "it is nothing short of a disgrace" and added that if a survey of Telford and Wrekin revealed that kind of information he would have an action plan to tackle it "within seconds".

Simon Whitehouse, the chief executive of the county NHS, said the report should "make us all sit up and take notice". He admitted that there is "still significant work for us to do in this space" although they are working on it.

Meredith Vivian OBE, a non-executive director, said it is important to tackle the issue because the local health and social care sector "relies on staff coming to Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin".

"They make a massive contribution, we have to protect and treat staff as a precious gem.