A top stroke specialist has spoken out about the “harrowing” racism he has faced while working for the NHS.
Ooh! *looks up the word*
Good grief! What sort of hellhole does he work in?
Devesh Sinha, lead stroke consultant at Barking, Havering and Redbridge (BHR) NHS Trust, has worked in healthcare for more than a decade.
Hmmm. OK, well what has he experienced?
In a blog post for the trust Dr Sinha opened up about the “everyday racism and structural racism” which he said many health staff face.
“I did not dare to open up on the ugly bits which require a lot of courage to speak up about,” he said.
“Like most doctors of colour, I have experienced insults, microaggressions, racial gaslighting and, to put it frankly, prejudiced violence.
“My experiences may be the norm for all trainee and senior doctors and may be something we never talk about openly. One works hard to deliver excellence in patient care and yet still get told it is ‘only’ sheer luck. When exciting opportunities come along, one is told that we only need the best people – implying bias, that with my colour such excellence is inconceivable.”
A bit short on descriptions of his ‘acutely distressing’ experiences, but convinced they apply to everyone like him?
“Some of my experiences are too ugly to share.”
Well, OK, what can you share, then?
“One beautiful morning I recall walking with my multicultural team into a cubicle of four patients and relatives to provide them with the best care. Imagine how it feels to hear – ‘now Brexit is happening, these people will go home’.”
Wait, that’s it? You walked in on patients and their families discussing politics?
“Usually, it is directed at the people of colour on the team who are improving patient care services by working twice as hard.”
Or maybe it wasn’t directed at anyone at all? Maybe you simply interrupted a discussion they were having?
It’s not like they yelled ‘Go home, darkie!’ in your face, is it?
“It is more scarring when your white colleagues in the room are clueless, silent or even smiling, nervously. The buzzword of ‘teamwork’, in such circumstances, disappears into thin air.”
What, exactly, were they supposed to do? Tell patients ‘No political discussion allowed, this is the NHS!’..?