Staff at St Davids and St Christophers Nursing and Residential Homes in North Ascot | Guidance on Care Homes
HR

RCN urges nurses to end “pandemic of racism”

In the RCN’s annual Mary Seacole Lecture, Professor Calvin Moorley PhD, Chair of Diversity and Social Justice at London South Bank University, talked about how racism is having an impact on nursing staff today. 

Trinidad and Tobago-born Calvin, who has more than 25 years of nursing experience, explained where he believes the construction of racism stems from.  

It dates back to 18th-century philosophers, such as Carl Linneaus, he said, who wrote about thoughts on race. For example, Linnaeus classified race into four types, two of these being Homo Europaeus (people with fair complexion) who are described as civilised and live by rules and custom; and Homo Afer (people with black complexion), described as cunning, careless, and governed by whim. 

Calvin explained that this gives context to observations of skin colour and behaviour, and that these views continue today. It’s this “inheritance of racism” that is affecting nursing staff, he said. 

Speaking on the Windrush generation, he said that in post-Second World War Britain, people from the Caribbean were invited to “build the NHS”. However, he noted that “those nurses were not always treated with respect, dignity or fairness” because of racism and the colonial past. 

With international recruitment today, Calvin pleaded: “Let us not let history repeat itself with the hardship and racial prejudice that the Windrush nurses experienced.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a “disproportionate number of deaths” within black and ethnic minority nursing staff, Calvin said, and the virus “binds itself to those who have experienced inequalities through the medium of structural racism”. 

This is also related to how black and minority ethnic nursing staff are treated more generally, he said. Calvin referenced the NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard report, which finds that black and minority ethnic staff report experiencing greater levels of harassment, bullying and abuse from patients, relatives or the public, compared to white staff. 

He urgently called for all nursing staff to unite in the fight against racism. “We need non-racist and anti-racist practice as a necessity for the nursing profession to grow and develop,” he said. 

Calvin finished his lecture by asking a poignant question: “How will you treat the pandemic of racism?”

The RCN has published guidance on protected characteristics, types of discrimination and what nurses should do if they experience discrimination at work.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter
By continuing to browse or by clicking "Accept All Cookies" you agree to the storing of first and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Cookie Policy
Cookie Settings
Decline All
Accept All Cookies
By continuing to browse or by clicking "Accept All Cookies" you agree to the storing of first and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Cookie Policy
Cookie Settings
Decline All
Accept All Cookies
Cookie Settings
STAY UPDATED!
Thank you for visiting CHMonline.co.uk, the website for the leading magazine for care home managers, operators and directors. If you would like to receive the digital edition and/or the editor's regular newsletters via email please subscribe here.
Are you a care home staff member or operator?
Terms: Care Home Management (S&A Publishing) may use the information you provide on this form to get in touch with you with relevant industry news and promotions. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us. We will treat your information with respect. For more information please view our privacy policy.
By submitting this form you agree to the terms.
SUBSCRIBE