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BAME nursing staff are more likely to be left without PPE

Amid warnings that BAME nursing staff may be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, an RCN survey reveals that they are more likely to struggle to secure adequate PPE while at work.

The latest RCN member-wide survey shows that for nursing staff working in high-risk environments (including intensive and critical care units), only 43% of respondents from a BAME background said they had enough eye and face protection equipment. This is in stark contrast to 66% of white British nursing staff.

There were also disparities in access to fluid-repellent gowns and in cases of nursing staff being asked to re-use single-use PPE items. The survey found similar gaps for those working in non-high-risk environments. Meanwhile, staff reported differences in PPE training, with 40% of BAME respondents saying they had not had training compared with just 31% of white British respondents.

Nearly a quarter of BAME nursing staff said they had no confidence that their employer is doing enough to protect them from COVID-19, compared with only 11% of white British respondents.

Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said: “It is simply unacceptable that we are in a situation where BAME nursing staff are less protected than other nursing staff. These results reinforce our call for BAME nursing staff to have specific risk assessments to reflect the risks they face as a result of COVID-19.

“All of our nursing staff must have the protection they need, and action must be taken urgently to ensure they are all kept safe. We look forward to getting more answers from Public Health England’s investigation into the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on BAME groups.”

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Upcoming Events

AfPP Annual Conference 2022

University of York
8-11 September 2022

Infection 360: What's trending in infection prevention & control

Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham
27-28 September 2022

IP2022 IS COMING TO BOURNEMOUTH IN OCTOBER 2022

Bournemouth
17-19 October 2022

UKHCA Conference: Listen Up

Pendulum Hotel and Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester
3rd November 2022

MEDICA 2022

Dusseldorf Germany
14th November - 17th November

Future Surgery 2022

ExCel, London
15th - 16th November 2022

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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