Responding to the review into factors impacting health outcomes from COVID-19, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“The graver impact that coronavirus could be having on people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, including frontline workers has been a key concern of health leaders who are doing all they can to protect their staff, supported by guidance from NHS Employers.
“Since it was first announced by the Government, we have been seeking clarity on what this review will examine and when it will conclude and so it is reassuring to hear that we could have some answers soon.
“There is a lot we do not know about this horrible disease, which is why this review from Public Health England is essential. However, focusing it on doctors and nurses only to begin with is a mistake when there are other professions, including in social care, where people from BME backgrounds could be at risk. This restriction will do nothing to reassure those individuals who quite literally could be putting their lives on the line to care for us.
“The NHS is the largest employer of black and minority ethnic people in the country and so it is vital that we identify the factors behind these deaths and what can be done both now and in future to mitigate the risks. We need full transparency from the Government throughout this process.”