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A Racist Health Service?

Former MemberFormer Member The Mix Honorary GuruPosts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
The Commission for Racial Equality's new head, Trevor Phillips, has been presenting to the Royal College of Nursing's Conference and has said THIS

Thinking on our earlier comments about the MacPherson report does anyone have any comments on this report - is it a surprise/what you expected?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member The Mix Honorary Guru Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Those comments certainly come as a surprise to me. I've never heard of racism in the NHS. And in the few occasions when I've been to a hospital I've seen as many black nurses as white ones. Not to mention doctors of Asian origin.

    Very bizarre comments.
  • Former MemberFormer Member The Mix Honorary Guru Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Aladdin
    Very bizarre comments.

    What amused me, and what wasn't taken into consideration, was the question of treatment.

    That's what we are here for, so is the suggestion that we don't treat enough people from "ethnic" backgrounds?

    In fact this whole issue really pisses me off. We are asked to collect ethnic background demographics on patients. Why? What difference should this make to us, as a health organisation?

    We treat EVERYONE, that is our role...

    Perhaps I am missing something.

    Was surprised about the racial abuse withing the organisation too, I guess that I wouldn't be exposed to it directly - but I have never heard racist abuse from another member of staff...
  • Former MemberFormer Member The Mix Honorary Guru Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When someone starts looking for any sort of prejudices you are bound to find some.

    It is Trevor Philip's job to seek out racism even if there isn't. Otherwise he be out of a job.

    Maybe he would like another MacPherson style report, where everyone can make money off it, yet no progress will be made.
  • Former MemberFormer Member The Mix Honorary Guru Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bollocks, obviously. Twat.
  • Former MemberFormer Member The Mix Honorary Guru Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You know, this has troubled me, because I'd like to think that the NHS is above all this, as an organistaion and so I started thinking about where and when the racism could be found.

    Naturally, there are the patients who, to be honest, abuse staff everyday. Clearly this is a minority of the people we treat, but it does happen and is a sad reflection on society or, truthfully, on those individuals involved. So I guess staff have been faced with racism there.

    Then there are the Consultants. Still in the main this is the domain of white males. And they are a mainly from a public school background. Sad to say, the old school tie is alive an well in the NHS from that perspective. Oh, and they are a rambuncious lot at the best of times - often the most cutting comments come from this direction.

    So, I asked a few of my colleagues. Actually, I asked a couple of asian doctors what their perception was. And they confirmed much of what this report says. The racism isn't overt, more a subtle thing. Like shortlisting doctors for jobs, example given was that out of 30 appointments, only one was asian.

    Another aspect was in the treatment of patients. Again, nothing overt, more a lack of recognition of need. Whilst we are very good and addressing many religious needs in diet and treatment of people following death, we [apparently] aren't so good at dealing with people on wards, or inconsulting rooms. This, my colleagues felt, was more about language difficulties. Many symptoms are lost in translation and so diagnosis becomes harder, so even having a translator available doesn't necessarily help. But what they felt was worse was the patient on a ward, at night who couldn't speak the language. As a consequence they cannot get their message across to the nurses at night, and therefore are left (potentially in pain) until someone can come in, who can translate for them.

    Anyway, what my colleagues have told me, supports in part what the CRE have been saying. Perhaps the NHS does need to look a little closer at what we do. Although I cannot see how we can rememdy the language barrier - other than through Blunkett's compulsory english lessons - I certainly think we can look inward to see where we are going wrong...
  • Former MemberFormer Member The Mix Honorary Guru Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think suggesting that the majority of consultants come from public school is just wrong. Yes the majority are well educated and from the middle classes, but to frank I'd rather my consultant was well educated.
    As for them all being white, I've never experianced that.

    There is the seperate issue however of people who are not UK tax payers using the NHS, for example people who live here flying in relatives to have operations here and then flying them back out again. I would suspect that most of these would be 'ethnic', not that it makes any difference, I would just say that unless its an emergancy case the NHS should be for UK residents only.
  • Former MemberFormer Member The Mix Honorary Guru Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by bongbudda
    I think suggesting that the majority of consultants come from public school is just wrong. Yes the majority are well educated and from the middle classes, but to frank I'd rather my consultant was well educated.
    As for them all being white, I've never experianced that.

    No, I said, in the main. And that is a current position, things are starting to change as more doctors come over from abroad and more university places are open to state school students. Remeber that many of the consultants of today trained in the 70s

    Another thing you should consider is whether you saw the Consultant, Staff Grade, Specialist, Registrar or junior doc.
    There is the seperate issue however of people who are not UK tax payers using the NHS, for example people who live here flying in relatives to have operations here and then flying them back out again. I would suspect that most of these would be 'ethnic', not that it makes any difference, I would just say that unless its an emergancy case the NHS should be for UK residents only.

    Non UK residents will only get treatment in an emergency. We don't take routine cases from abroad.

    If you are talking about only "tax payers" being allowed acces then you undermine what the NHS is there for. Free treatment, at point of delivery, regardless of financial background. Like I said, we treat EVERYONE.

    Besides you automatically rule out children, OAPs and the poor ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member The Mix Honorary Guru Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I understand there is an agreement between EU countries so citizens can visit a doctor abroad while on holiday. However they have to fill one or two forms before they travel, and they still have to pay towards the treatment. As far as I'm aware there is no free consultation for non-UK residents.

    Shame really, because NHS dentists are soooo much cheaper here than in Spain, it'd be cheaper for my parents to fly to England and have their mouths done here than to have it locally.

    Anyway, I don't know anything about working structures inside hospitals but I'm still surprised at this report. From an outsider's point of view the NHS would appear to be the place for non-white staff to prosper... but maybe I've been watching Holby City too closely.
  • Former MemberFormer Member The Mix Honorary Guru Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Aladdin
    I understand there is an agreement between EU countries so citizens can visit a doctor abroad while on holiday.

    Already possible in some cases. You have the right to choose where you have treatment. Would suggest that your parent look into this ;)

    Each country bears the cost of treatment within the EU and we (as I'm sure you've seen on the news) send people abroad for elective (sorry, technical term means non-emergency) surgery.

    Outside the EU, we charge the relevant embassy.
    Anyway, I don't know anything about working structures inside hospitals but I'm still surprised at this report. From an outsider's point of view the NHS would appear to be the place for non-white staff to prosper

    Like I said, depends on the Grade. When you vist hospital you don't always see the consultant.
    ... but maybe I've been watching Holby City too closely.

    Please, don't get me started on that pile of shite. I'm banned from watching any UK-made hospital drama by Mrs MoK. She got fed up with me shouting at the TV, pointing out the glaring inaccuracies. They do more to undermine patient expectations of our service than anything else. Believe me when I say that they are so far wide of the mark it's almost funny. The only character in Holby that was even close to reality was Mr Meyer. Then they buggered up his character too... :mad:

    I can watch ER though. Different culture.
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