The Royal College of Emergency Medicine welcomes the publication of Public Health England’s report ‘Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups’ and endorses the vital recommendations made within.
RCEM President, Dr Katherine Henderson said: “This is an important and timely report that recommends essential actions that are long overdue.
“BAME colleagues and communities have been hit harder by COVID-19 and this report makes clear that longstanding health inequalities have been exacerbated by it.
“We know that the most deprived 10% of the population use A&E twice as much as the least deprived 10%. We must use the spotlight of Covid to address inequalities including access to care.
“Better data will be key to shining a light on where further actions are needed. For our staff, the further development of culturally competent occupational risk assessment tools is a must, but urgent action is needed more widely to reduce inequalities caused by the wider determinants of health.
“These recommendations should not be viewed by policy makers as requests. To protect the lives of BAME colleagues and communities anything less than the full uptake of these actions is unacceptable; the Equalities Minister must ensure that these do not fall by the wayside as the government works to get the nation back on its feet.”
Tracy Nicholls FCPara, Chief Executive of the College of Paramedics said: “The College of Paramedics fully supports the recommendations made in this report. Whilst the paramedic profession has a disproportionately low numbers of BAME members, we recognise that many of our colleagues in Allied Health Professions have been greatly affected during the Covid-19 outbreak.
We welcome any and all improvements for the BAME community that will be actioned as a result of Public Health England’s findings and sincerely hope that it represents positive and tangible steps to address inequalities in health care. The College of Paramedics feels that meaningful measures must be taken now and continue to be embedded for our profession to become much more representative of the communities it serves.”