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Implementation of a simulation programme to improve action about racism in paediatric departments

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The problem

Equality and diversity are strongly embedded within the ethos of the National Health Service (NHS); equality and diversity are a ubiquitous, and important, part of mandatory training. Current training is often asynchronous online learning, which does not allow discussion of nuances or practicalities. Despite this training, many healthcare professionals across all ranks either face racism or witness racism. A British Medical Association (BMA) survey of more than 2000 doctors and medical students found that over 90% of black and Asian respondents, 73% of mixed ethnicity and 64% of white respondents said they believed racism in the medical profession was an issue. Seventy-six per cent of those surveyed reported to being subjected to at least one incident of racist behaviour in the past 2 years.1 The Royal College of Nursing reported that 64% of respondents experienced verbal abuse in the last 12 months, of which 13% was discriminatory, for example, in relation to ethnicity.2 The BMA’s racism report noted examples of good practice in workplaces, including creating space for open and honest discussion.1 A coherent response to tackling racism within hospitals may be more difficult within paediatric practice than adult medicine, as discussed by Qureshi and colleagues.3 A child has a right to care even if their parents or carers make racist comments. There are strategies to help deal with racism in the workplace, for example, Babla and colleagues proposed using a Probe, Alert, Challenge, Escalate, Signpost approach.4 The BMA, and many local NHS Trusts, have released guidelines …

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Footnotes

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.