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The future of ethnic minority nurses in the NHS

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The subject of discrimination especially with regard to the ethnic minority workforce in the NHS was the focus of a specially commissioned Task Force funded by the Department of Health and the King's Fund in 1991 followed by the PSI Report published last year to help health authorities to address racial discrimination. The first of these reports, for example, states quite clearly that ‘racial inequalities between managers and staff in the service are glaring … black and ethnic minority staff will not join or remain in a service which they do not see to be providing good and fair employment prospects’. This perhaps influenced the Secretary of State for Health, in 1993, to set up a programme of action which included a number of targets to be achieved. Goal seven, for example, specifically addresses nursing by stating that NHS authorities and trusts are to set local objectives to achieve representation of ethnic minority nurses at ward manager level within 5 years.

This programme seems to focus on the issue of equal opportunities but although it does make reference to 'racial harassment' it does not include ‘racism’. Hence the purpose of this paper is to address the issues of equal opportunities and anti-racism from a theoretical and practice base. It also intends to offer alternatives for the way forward by focusing on local initiatives.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Senior Nursing Lecturer and, 2: Nurse Lecturer, School of Health Care Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Publication date: November 1, 1996

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