Black and Asian nurses are more likely to face fitness to practise proceedings – and to have their cases dropped early. So what can be done to end the prejudice?
by Nick Evans, health journalist
30 January 2023 vol 38, number 3, nursingstandard.com (paywall)
Harassed and ‘othered’
“Most cases we see are baseless. It’s a severe problem and has become normalised.”
Stress and financial burden
Referred for no reason: ‘It took a year for my case to be dropped’
Damage to careers
“We know from the research that there are some employers responsible for a disproportionate number of referrals. The NMC has a role in educating employers and questioning vexatious claims”.
Cathryn Watters, founder of NMCWatch, which supports nurses through FtP cases.
The guide recommends considering the following questions:
- Deliberate harm test Was there any intention to cause harm?
- Health test Are there signs of substance misuse or physical/ mental ill health?
- Foresight test Are there agreed protocols in place that apply to the action/omission? Did the individual knowingly depart from these?
- Substitution test Are there indications peers would behave in the same way? Was the individual missed out when relevant training was provided? Was there a lack of supervision?
- Mitigation test Were there any mitigating circumstances?
How to challenge and report racism
If you witness racism:
- Challenge it and remain calm and objective
- Be an active bystander by intervening directly or escalating to someone in authority
- Check in with the victim and explain the steps you are planning to take
If you experience racism:
- Talk to your colleagues, managers and HR
- Keep a diary of incidents
- Raise the issue in the workplace
- Seek advice from trusted colleagues or organisations