‘No place for racism in health and care’, says NMC chief

The move comes following two serious incidents involving NHS workers being subjected to institutional racism.

Matt Bodell
29 May 2021
Andrea Sutcliffe NMC

Health and care staff across the country should be protected from racism.

The nursing regulator has joined other health and care regulators in speaking out against institutional racism.

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has joined forces with the NHS Race and Health Observatory (NHSRHO), General Medical Council (GMC), and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure process across health and care are fair and inclusive.

Health and care leaders are being told to ensure that staff across the country are protected from racism, or any other form of discrimination, as they go about their vital work.

Dr. Habib Naqvi, Director of the NHSRHO, said: “It is essential that all healthcare employers ensure staff and patients are not discriminated against due to any form of racism, bias or prejudice. Racism within our society must be viewed as absolutely intolerable;  it has devastating impacts upon lives and needs to be tackled head-on.”

“The Observatory operates by shining a light on discriminatory policies and practices, and by gathering evidence that supports healthcare organisations to progress in a way that eradicates, rather than exacerbates, inequality.”

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It comes following the NMC asking its own regulator to step in after it failed to remove a nurse found to have made racial slurs about colleagues from its register, and a recruitment email sent by a practice nurse that commented only on their race.

No place for racism.

Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC, said;”At the Nursing and Midwifery Council, we strongly believe there’s no place for racism in health and care, and as the regulator of almost 732,000 nursing and midwifery professionals, the NMC stands firmly together with our partners in being committed to tackling institutional discrimination in all its forms.

“The impact that racist and other discriminatory attitudes and behaviours has on people is devastating. That’s why the values of equality, diversity and human rights – that are fundamental in the delivery of person-centred care for everyone – are enshrined in our Code and professional standards. It’s also why we will always listen and ensure appropriate action is taken when concerns about someone’s fitness to practise are raised with us.

“We’re also determined to play our own significant part in becoming a better and fairer regulator by continuing with the second phase of our research into the differences experienced in referral rates of Black and minority ethnic nurses, midwives and nursing associates. We’re committed to rooting out and addressing any unfairness in our own processes.

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“It’s clear there’s a long road ahead. But it’s the responsibility of all of us to create safe, inclusive and supportive working environments and stamp out racism and any other discrimination when we see it.

“Working together, we must and we will do more.”

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