There is a ‘scandalous’ inverse relationship to the proportion of BME nursing staff holding senior positions within the NHS, the Unite/CPHVA Vice President has claimed.
In an interview with Community Practitioner marking International Women’s Day (Friday 8th March 2013), Professor Elizabeth Anionwu said nurses from a black and minority ethnic background are not valued ‘as highly’ as British-born white nursing staff.
She said she is very concerned about some BME women in the NHS and said the lack of senior positions held by such nurses is a ‘sad state of affairs’.
‘[BME nurses] are no different to white nurses and the majority of BME nurses have a great loyalty to their profession yet they disproportionately find themselves in front of the Nursing and Midwifery Council for disciplinary hearings,’ said Anionwu.
‘Overall, there is a scandalous inverse relationship to the proportion of BME staff in nursing in terms of holding positions in the higher echelons of the health service.’
She urged people to be ‘brave’ and ‘acknowledge the problems’ in the health service.
Anionwu started out as a health visitor in North West London in 1971 and went on to pioneer the launch of the first sickle cell and thalassaemia counselling service in the area and the teaching of multi-ethnic perspectives of different conditions to hundreds of her students.