'Ethnic minority doctors face more bullying than whites in UK'

'Ethnic minority doctors face more bullying than whites in UK'

'Ethnic minority doctors face more bullying than whites in UK'

Doctors from black and ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to face bullying and harassment within the UK's state-run National Health Service, a new report said today.

Black and minority ethnic (BME) doctors, which includes Indian-origin doctors working within the National Health Service NHS, reported far more cases of bullying or abuse by colleagues and managers than white staff, the 'NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard' review found.

It led to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens pledging action to tackle the "deeply disturbing" findings.

"This report provides unvarnished feedback to every hospital and trust across the NHS about the experiences of their BME staff. It confirms that while some employers have got it right, for many others these staff survey results are both deeply concerning and a clear call to action," said Stevens, who is also co-chairman of the NHS Equality and Diversity Council, which conducted the research based on staff surveys across the country.

Three-quarters of the 154 trusts surveyed show higher percentages of BME workers being harassed, bullied or abused by staff than white NHS workers.

Only 22 per cent (33 trusts) showed a lower percentage of BME staff reporting such treatment than white staff, while five organisations suggested no difference between the experience of white and BME staff.

"We are pleased that the NHS wants to take action. This report just proves what we have been fighting for so long, that BME doctors in this country are not being treated fairly," said Dr Ramesh Mehta, president of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), the UK's largest representative body for Indian-origin doctors.

"We have been working closely with individual NHS Trusts to develop a first-of-its-kind dispute resolution service to help resolve any issues of this nature between managers and doctors. We would be happy to cooperate and collaborate further with the NHS at a national level to help make improvements in the system," he said.

The NHS has said it plans to invest around 2 million pounds over two years to tackle the issue. 

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