• Sofia Eugeniou

NHS: Launch of first ever network for BAME primary care workers in Leeds


Image credit: EPUT NHS

Just two days after the NHS will celebrate its 72nd birthday, the first ever Leeds network for BAME staff working in primary care will launch 7 July.


In light of data that shows people and healthcare workers with BAME backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, the network has been devised to help tackle the inequalities that impact the NHS workforce as well as the communities it serves.


The launch will be carried out as a virtual event (due to social distancing guidelines), from 6:30 pm until 8 pm and will be headed by Dr Mohammed Sattar, a GP at Woodhouse Medical Practice.


On the BAME network he helped to create for people working in primary care, Dr Mohammed Sattar said: "Our network has been set up to tackle the health and wider social inequalities that affect BAME staff and communities".


The newly established network will seek to encourage other primary care colleagues to join including those working in cities at 94 different GP practices as well as community pharmacies, optometry (eye) and dental practices.


This newly created network is vital for black and minority ethnic communities as primary care services provide the first point of contact in the healthcare system - primary care workers can see first-hand how inequalities lead to issues affecting a person's health and wellbeing.


Research has found that inequalities ease and diagnoses become more accurate when black and ethnic minority patients are assessed by healthcare workers that represent their own or similar ethnic background.


These inequalities have become hypervisible in the UK since the outbreak of the coronavirus and have highlighted that we need to do much more to help those with BAME backgrounds, and also the most disadvantaged people in society.


The team behind the setup of the Leeds BAME network for primary care workers is considered groundbreaking, and there are hopes that this launch can inspire other similar networks nationally.

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