A total of £4.3 million of funding has been awarded to six new research projects to investigate COVID-19 and ethnicity by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), including £2.1 million for the University of Leicester-led UK-REACH study, investigating the risks of COVID-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) healthcare workers.
Welcoming the announcement, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said: “These research projects will be absolutely vital in helping to unpick and address the reasons why people from BAME backgrounds are suffering a disproportionate impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has cast an inescapable spotlight on racial inequalities, and it’s imperative that we take this opportunity to overcome this.
“We are pleased to be part of the stakeholder group working with Dr Pareek and UK-REACH, as this research will help us to understand why BAME healthcare workers could be at greater risk, and in turn, lead to changes that could protect them. It has the potential to drive major improvements in the lives of healthcare staff who have selflessly put themselves in harm’s way as the UK battles the pandemic.”