Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust made the following response following the screening and Q&A of ‘Exposed’ on July 20.
“Earlier this week I went to the screening of a film that demonstrated we’re still not there yet on issues around race and inclusion. The film – Exposed: Racism and the Pandemic – was extremely uncomfortable viewing but really important. It was produced as part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project funded under the UKRI Urgent Response to Covid-19 Call. We hosted the Gloucestershire premiere alongside the Royal College of Nursing South West branch and the University of Gloucestershire.
The film features the stories of nurses and healthcare professionals from minority ethnic backgrounds and highlights how they were put at risk during the pandemic. In the first month of the UK lockdown, 71% of nurses and midwives who died were from Black and Asian backgrounds. Many of the people featured in the film experience racism in their daily lives – in work and outside of it. In the discussion after the film screening, we heard from nurses locally who spoke about how they have spent 30 years trying to change racist attitudes that still persist today, causing untold harm, distress and getting in the way of career satisfaction and progression.
We can’t allow this to happen in our Trust. I have talked before and we have discussed in a variety of forums an ethical responsibility not just to avoid racism but to become actively anti-racist. It’s about actively changing and challenging and it’s not up to the colleagues among us who are from minority ethnic groups to bring about the change – it’s all of us.
We’ll be sharing more information about this agenda in due course, but in the meantime I would urge you to watch the film on Youtube and reflect upon what more you could all do to ensure the experiences of those featured are not the experience of colleagues in GHC. And if you, yourself have experienced racism either in the past or are experiencing it now, please let someone know.”