NHS is a Crime Scene: Covid-19 and ethnicity in UK & US

Independent Sage has produced a report on the impact of Covid-19 on ethnic minorities.

This is quite breathtaking….and disappointing

Recall Boris Johnson diverting attention to pre-existing conditions and comorbidity as he scrambled to channel Dr Fauci. Many contributors to this report had no time for such baseless and evidence -less speculation.

However there are strange and contradictory statements in this report. claims that  among the ‘likely’ causes are overcrowding, yet ONS figures show overcrowding is greater in Asian families than Black but the mortality is greater in Black families.

It makes great play about  differences in life expectancy  ‘Bangladeshi men and Pakistani women were identified as groups with the lowest life expectancy.’. Life expectancy is quite irrelevant. What is relevant is rate of death/ mortality rate  and has that changed. If on average there are   50 deaths per month per population A and this rises to 200 deaths per month under Covid-19 that’s significant. Total life expectancy is quite irrelevant.

It then claims that BAME workers are more likely to be laid off and can’t work from home, 

‘Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Black African and Black Caribbean men are all much more likely to have had jobs in shutdown industries,such as the restaurant sector and taxi driving’

but then in another paragraph:
‘We also know that ethnic minorities have been over-represented in key worker jobs during COVID-19: transport and delivery jobs, health care assistants, hospital cleaners, social care workers, taxi drivers, security guards, and in nursing and medical jobs. These occupations have been frontline jobs with increased the risk of exposure, infection and death. There have also been concerns that some of these occupations have been the last to receive supplies of personal protective equipment’.

At one place they claim that  socio-economic disadvantage played an important role, but then add that even in the same  employment the mortality in NHS jobs is vastly different!  Actually the numbers are shocking:

categoryBAME Per centage of  work forceBAME mortality per cent of total deathsWHITE mortality  per cent of total deaths
Total staff216337
Nursing and support206436
Medical (doctors + dentists)44955

Outside the NHS, they found for healthcare workers:

‘while healthcare staff were shown to have lower mortality rates than the general population, 76% of deaths were in BME individuals’.

 Occupational explanations simply hold no water where there are differential mortality rates in the same job.

They also had evidence of clearly illegal racial discrimination in the same job in the NHS;

‘Despite being at greater occupational exposure to COVID-19 within health and social work roles in particular, survey evidence has shown that only 43% of BME nurses report receiving eye and face protection equipment, whereas 66% of white British nurses self-reported receiving appropriate personal protective equipment (RCN, 2020). Significantly, 49% of BME nurses had been asked to reuse single use equipment, compared with just over a third of white British respondents (37%), and there were marked disparities in perceptions over the provision of PPE training between BME and white British nursing staff (RCN, 2020).’

They also noted that :

‘A reoccurring theme throughout the evidence on the impact of COVID19 on ethnic minority communities is the issue of racism and discrimination within the health and social care system, including within the NHS.’

I could go on … but there is no point.

This report reads like a compromise between two groups: those supporting Dr Fauci  and seeking to find the problem in the ethnic minority groups themselves (blaming the victim) and those trying to point to behavioural and racist factors, with the latter slightly dominant, inevitably as the facts speak for themselves.

Not only is this a crime scene but more importantly this is a crime in progress.

Conclusions: This is a crime , the police should be called.