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A Q-Methodological Study – Exploring Perspectives of Racism and Racial Inequality in the NHS

Trial Status: Open

Since the NHS’ launch in 1948, BME workers have contributed to the functioning and development of the NHS. Over 70 years later, and despite years of acknowledgement and initiatives to overcome it, racial inequality and institutional racism is still evident in the NHS. Racism is associated with poor physical health, mental health and poor service user outcomes for BAME patients. BAME staff experience more bullying and harassment and are less likely to be hired or occupy very senior manager positions. Better understanding of the culture through which racism persists, or the
shortcomings of the initiatives established to tackle racial inequality, is therefore vital. It has been highlighted through multiple media platforms, including NHS blogs, academic research papers and government documents that attempts to meet ‘race equality targets’ in the NHS have not yet been successful. The reason behind this has not yet been clearly defined. Whilst reports explore the consequences of racism, i.e. changes in racial inequality outcomes, there is limited research looking at the culture of the NHS and how an environment which, despite equality initiatives, allows racial inequality to be maintained. The aim of this research project is to better understand the multiple social perspectives that surround racial inequality in the NHS. It is hoped that by identifying these perspectives, we can better understand the way in which racism and racial inequality remain a significant problem for the NHS.