Black, Asian and minority ethnic NHS staff could be taken off the front line for concerns that they are more vulnerable to coronavirus.
New guidance sent from NHS England to hospitals nationwide requires that BAME & # 39; risk-assessed & # 39; on a & # 39; precautionary basis & # 39 ;.
Figures showed 63 percent of all health and social care workers who died of coronaviruses come from ethnic minority backgrounds, despite accounting for only 16 percent of their workforce.
BAME patients also made up 16 percent of all deaths to virus hospitals in England until April 21.
The government has since begun an urgent inquiry into the alarming statistics.
Doctors and nurses from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus. Pictured are the ones that died of the virus
Hospitals received a letter from NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens and their chief operating officer Amanda Pritchard, according to the Telegraph.
The letter reads: & # 39; Emerging UK and international data suggest that people with BAME backgrounds are also disproportionately influenced by Covid-19.
& # 39; Public Health England have been asked by the Department of Health & Social Care to investigate this. Prior to their report and guidance, on a precautionary basis, we recommend that employers should assess risk at potentially greater risk and make appropriate appropriate arrangements. & # 39;
This could mean that BAME doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are at lower risk than jobs away from coronavirus departments.
Earlier this week, the Somerset Foundation Trust became the first in the country to prioritize BAME staff for access to face masks.
Hospitals received a letter from NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens (pictured earlier this week in Downing Street) and their main functionary Amanda Pritchard
The NHS Trust treats all its black, Asian and ethnic employees as & # 39; vulnerable and in danger & # 39; of coronavirus.
The trust has now included all of its BAME workers in a vulnerable and at-risk group, and is asking managers to have conversations with them and discuss concerns.
In a letter to staff, the head of the trust Peter Lewis said: & # 39; Although we do not yet have a definitive inquiry or national guidance, we feel it is the right approach to take.
& # 39; We also hope you feel comfortable sharing any concerns you have about any underlying circumstances so that these can be considered when planning your work. & # 39;
The letter said that BAME staff and their families will be able to access testing within the first five days of developing any symptoms, and anyone who does not need an FFP3 mask – that offers greater protection then a normal surgical mask – will be supported to test fit as soon as possible.
Earlier this week, the Somerset Foundation Trust became the first in the country to prioritize BAME staff for access to face masks (staff pictured with full personal protective equipment at Royal Liverpool University Hospital)
Mr Lewis added: & # 39; We recognize how caring it is for our colleagues at the moment and we want to give them as much support as we can.
& # 39; Our BAME colleagues make a significant contribution to our trust and care we provide to patients. We are grateful for their continued commitment. & # 39;
Yvonne Coghill, director of the & # 39; Employment Standard Unit for NHS England, tweeted & # 39; many must follow the lead of Somerset FT, & # 39; and describe the trust as & # 39; compassionate & # 39; with strong leadership.
The government has launched a survey on & # 39; devastating inequality & # 39;, which means that BAME patients are at an unreasonably high risk of becoming critically ill with coronavirus.
Scientists say it can be inequality to suffer more often under conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure.
Social and demographic factors also play a role in making BAME people more likely to live in densely populated areas that can make social distance more difficult.
Pictured: Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, part of the Somerset Foundation Trust that ensures BAME staff have better access to phase masks
The British Medical Association (BMA) also suggested that BAME physicians may feel less concerned about worrying about inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE), to & # 39; t see higher levels of bullying and harassment at & # 39; reported a work surface.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of BMA, said a survey showed that doctors from ethnic minorities were three times more likely to feel pressured to treat patients without adequate PPE.
He said, & # 39; These figures are shaky. They are worried and disturbed. In fact, these doctors have come from other parts of the world to provide vital care and save the lives of other people in our health service and now they have sadly paid the ultimate sacrifice. & # 39;
The first ten doctors in the UK to die of coronavirus were all from BAME background, with many born abroad.
Dr Habib Naqvi, the director of the & # 39; NHS for Race and Equality for Labor, said: & # 39; The fact that a high number of black and minority ethnic staff die from this pandemic is a concern for us. & # 39;
Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer of England, said: & # 39; It is critical that we find out which groups are most at risk so we can help protect them. & # 39;
A & # 39; spokesman for & # 39; e health said: & # 39; We commissioned Public Health England work to understand the various factors that can & # 39; affect & # 39; the way someone is affected by this virus. & # 39;
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