RCM supports drive for ethnic minority healthcare workers to join Government study on impact of COVID-19
By Gemma Murphy on 08 December 2020 Maternity Services
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is encouraging its black, Asian, and minority ethnic members to participate in a Government-backed study investigating the risks of COVID-19 to their health. The college says its acutely aware that sadly its BAME members are at greater risk when it comes to COVID-19 and that everything that can be done to learn more about the inequality of this infectious disease is another crucial step forward.
The £2.1m University of Leicester-led UK-REACH study is set to be the largest and most comprehensive research project assessing the risk of COVID-19 for 30,000 clinical and non-clinical staff. It was launched after growing evidence showed how people from minority ethnic backgrounds had double the risk of severe COVID infection compared to that of the white population.
The study will follow a group of healthcare workers from ethnic minority backgrounds for a period of 12 months to see what changes occur in their physical and mental health, how they have changed their professional and social behaviours in response to COVID-19, and how risky their jobs are.
Commenting, Alice Sorby Employment Relations Advisor at the RCM 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. 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. So we are supporting this study and encouraging members to consider taking part is the important study.
RCM members will be contacted directly by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) over the coming days with details on how to join the study. In addition, they will also be able to register and take part by going to the UK-REACH website.
“The RCM is also reminding BAME members to ensure they have received a workplace risk assessment and if you haven’t to ask for one and speak to your RCM Workplace Representative. Midwives and maternity support workers have made incredible efforts and sacrifices throughout the pandemic and we must all do everything we can to keep the healthy and well so they can continue to deliver care high quality care to women and their babies.”