Over-exposed and under-protected: the devastating impact of COVID-19 on black and minority ethnic communities in Great Britain. 2020. (accessed 30 September 2020)

NHS England. CNO black and minority ethnic (BME) leadership. 2020. (accessed 30 September 2020)

Public Health England. Beyond the data: understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups. 2020. (accessed 30 September 2020)

Black History Month

08 October 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 18

October is Black History Month, it is intended to celebrate the culture, history and achievements that black African and Caribbean people have brought to the UK. The cultures and traditions of the African, Asian and Caribbean communities in the UK have for many years been a central component of what it is that makes Britain unique. Black History Month was first celebrated in October 1987 in the UK, as a national celebration. The focus has expanded its scope and includes the history of African, Asian and Caribbean peoples and their contribution to British society. This year, it has particular significance.

The largest combined professional group in the NHS are nurses and midwives. One in every five are from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, this rises to 40% in some parts of the UK, for example, London (NHS England, 2020). As data on COVID-19 deaths among BAME nurses continue to emerge, it has been confirmed what had been suspected since the pandemic began: that BAME people are far more likely to get and die from coronavirus. Public Health England (PHE) (2020) has produced a long-awaited report (a rapid review of the literature) commissioned by the Chief Medical Officer for England to understand the extent to which ethnicity impacts on risk and outcomes. Seven recommendations arose, pointing to the areas where commitment, focus, and delivery at scale have the potential to make a substantial difference in improving the lives and experiences of BAME communities.

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