We must learn from pandemic to protect BAME staff, says RCM

on 29 July 2020 RCM Safety Government NHS Race matters BAME NHS Staff Covid-19 BME staff

The Royal College of Midwives has welcomed the start of a major study on the impact of COVID-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) healthcare workers, launched today. The research, which is led by Leicester University, will follow healthcare workers from BAME backgrounds over 12 months, monitoring changes  in their physical and mental health, and how they have changed their professional and social behaviours in response to COVID-19. The RCM is a partner organisation supporting the study.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "It cannot be right that black, Asian and minority ethnic health workers are not properly protected or are disadvantaged simply because of their race or ethnicity. Yet the anecdotal evidence of COVID-19 suggests just that. It is critical that we find out quickly why this virus so adversely affected our black and Asian colleagues, so that measures can be put in place to ensure their safety.

“However, as important as this study is, we cannot wait to act. This week, we heard that one in four black and Asian staff still haven’t had a workplace risk assessment. This is unacceptable. NHS workers, including midwives and maternity support workers, have made incredible efforts and sacrifices throughout the pandemic to care for those using our NHS.  We must all do everything in our power to care for them.”


To contact the RCM media office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].

For information on the study please contact Mina Sharma, Media Relations Manager at the University of Leicester on 0116 252 2160 or [email protected], or Rachael Dowling, Head of Research Communications at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust/NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre on 07950 891193 or [email protected].

Notes to Editors

The RCM launched its Race Matters campaign in June to improve the working conditions and lives of BAME NHS staff, and BAME pregnant women.  For more information visit https://www.rcm.org.uk/supporting/race-matters/.

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.