Are BAME people more likely to die from Covid-19 because of genetics, diabetes, or even vitamin deficiencies? No, argues Dr Kambiz Boomla, racism lies at the heart of the differing death rates.
The Office of National Statistics last month published figures on who dies of coronavirus. It revealed a shocking truth that the risk of death for south Asians is twice as high as that for whites of the same age, and that blacks have a fourfold increased risk. Behind these figures lie human faces.
Brian Richardson pays tribute to the contribution BAME health workers made to the NHS, and the terrible price they are now paying.
Medical and support staff are making an extraordinary contribution to our survival and recovery at great risk to themselves. But a disproportionate number of those that have paid the ultimate price are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. At the time of writing, the first 10 doctors and three of the first six nurses to die were from BAME. Since its inception in 1948, the NHS has been built and sustained by people from all around the world.
Recent upheavals in the Royal College of Nursing are a sign of a wider transformation among nurses and white collar workers, argue Andy Ridley and Mark L Thomas
There were unusual scenes at the end of September in the Royal College of Nursing. Delegates at an Emergency General Meeting in Birmingham clashed with the RCN’s leadership over the way it had sold the 2018 NHS pay deal to members, while the leadership in turn attacked their critics as “political infiltrators”. Such red baiting however failed to stop a motion of no confidence in the RCN Council being overwhelmingly voted through. As a result the bulk of the RCN Council has stepped down to face immediate re-election contests.
The Tory social care funding plans aim to extend to care in your own home, charges which individuals already have to pay if they move into residential care.
As it stood before the election, anyone with assets over £23,250 had to pay the full cost of their care if they move to a care or nursing home. Care costs in homes are high, with one in ten older people spending more than £100,000 in their lifetimes; £700 per week for residential care or an average of £1,000 per week for a nursing home place.
In the days following the publication of the Tory manifesto the Telegraph trumpeted “Tories pledge £8bn rise in NHS spending.” It added, “Conservatives would also triple the fees charged to migrants for using the NHS, to help raise more funds from overseas patients.”
The overt racism of this proposal shouldn’t surprise us. But what of the £8 billion pledge? The figure is over the course of the next government, so roughly £1.6 billion per year.
The junior doctors' dispute has combined with teachers’ anger and the Tory crisis to present new opportunities
The government has stumbled into a key trial of strength with junior doctors, who by the end of April had taken five rounds of escalating strikes, including a full walkout without cover. As the BBC’s health correspondent wrote after the full walkout, “this is going to be a fight to the bitter end…both sides have been briefing about how determined they are not to give ground. But who will break first? Ministers or doctors?” The answer will have far reaching consequences.
Junior doctors announced three 48 hour strikes as SR went to press: 9 to 11 March, 6 to 8 April and 26 to 28 April. As this comes after the imposition of the new contract it is a significant escalation.
A poll found 66 percent of people in England support for junior doctors’ strikes, with 41 percent saying they are strongly supportive. Only 16 percent of people say they oppose the walkout.
The BMA will also launch a judicial review as the government failed to undertake an Equality Impact Assessment before making the changes.
Junior doctors voted by a staggering 98 percent to strike over working hours. Doctor Ron Singer explains the long term issues and BMA activist Yannis Gourtsoyannis talks about the campaign.
The proposed strike by junior doctors is only the second in NHS history. The first was in 1975 over hours of work — then a usual 120 hours a week. The government does not think that the NHS works 24/7. The call for a “full” seven days a week service needed a way round the current junior doctor contract.
Barts Health, the largest NHS trust in England, is now in special measures following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report into Whipps Cross Hospital. The trust was formed as a result of a merger between Barts and the London, Newham University Hospital and Whipps Cross in 2013. The chief executive, Peter Morris; the chief nurse and the chair of the trust have all resigned with more likely to follow.