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More than 95% of BAME NHS staff risk-assessed against Covid-19

More than 95% of BAME NHS staff risk-assessed against Covid-19

More than 95% of GP practice and hospital staff from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds have been risk-assessed against coronavirus, NHS England has said.

Overall, more than nine in 10 staff who are ‘known to be at risk’ have been risk-assessed – but that gap must be closed ‘completely’ so that all employees are reviewed, it added.

GPs were asked by NHS England in June to complete risk assessments for at-risk practice staff within four weeks, including those from BAME backgrounds.

However, Pulse revealed in August that practices were being refused occupational health support following staff risk assessments because the services said they were too stretched.

In a recent blog, NHS chief people officer Prerana Issar said: ‘More than a million conversations and engagement have taken place in just a few short weeks across trusts and GP services, with more than nine out of 10 staff who are known to be at risk taking up an assessment, with that figure rising to over 95% of staff from BAME backgrounds.

‘A small minority of people are yet to have the risk assessment, and while in many cases this will be due to staff turnover, leave, illness or other understandable factors, local employers need to understand any other reasons for this and find ways to close the small remaining gap completely.’

She added that ‘there is more to do’ and work to ‘connect and build trust’ with BAME staff working across the NHS ‘has never been more urgent’.

It comes as the BMA has warned that the Government needs to do more to protect BAME doctors and patients in the second wave of Covid-19.

Last week, the Government’s long-awaited Covid-19 risk algorithm identified a BAME background as one of the top risk factors, backing a wealth of previous research.