The NHS must become proactively ‘anti-racist’
05 January 2024, HSJ article, Kevin Fenton, Jennifer Yip, Natasha Curran, Catherine Mbema, Karen Steadman:
Amid rising awareness of racial health disparities, the authors of this HSJ article, examine healthcare organisations’ initiatives against racism, spotlighting efforts in diversity, leadership, and continual evaluation for enduring impact.
Awareness of ethnic and racial disparities in health outcomes has increased dramatically since the disproportionate impact on some communities from the covid-19 pandemic, the death of George Floyd, and the work of the Black Lives Matter movement. Understanding is also growing about the complex drivers of these differences. Inequities tracing back to colonialism are still contributing to structural racism in Britain today.
Across the provision of housing, education, social welfare and health services, some racialised groups experience worse outcomes. Institutional racism often sustains these unfair differences, perpetuated through organisational cultures and social norms. This makes racism a “wicked” public health problem; difficult to unpick, and even more difficult to solve.