London's BME midwives more likely to be dismissed than white colleagues

Royal College of Midwives says report suggests capital's BME midwives are being treated unfairly

Black and minority ethnic (BME) midwives in London are more likely to face disciplinary proceedings compared with white midwives, research has shown.

Results from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests launched at the TUC’s Black Workers Conference in London on Friday, also showed BME midwives received harsher outcomes from disciplinary proceedings.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) analysed the FOI requests made to London NHS trusts between 2012 and 2015.

The FOIs show that from July 2010 to June 2015, BME midwives were disproportionately more likely to face disciplinary proceedings.

Almost half (44.1%) of the midwives employed in London are from a BME background.

Yet in the capital, two-thirds (66.4%) of the midwives facing disciplinary proceedings are from a BME background. Over the same period, a higher proportion of BME midwives than white midwives were dismissed in disciplinary proceedings.

In the five-year period, 38 midwives were dismissed and 37 of these were from a BME background. More than one in ten (13.2%) of the BME midwives who faced disciplinary proceedings were dismissed, compared with 0.7% of white midwives who faced disciplinary proceedings.

The results show that little progress has been made since 2011, when the same FOI research was conducted.

The RCM questioned whether London's BME midwives are being treated fairly in a new publication based on the findings – ‘BME Midwives, Disciplinary Proceedings and the Workplace Race Equality Standard’.

RCM director of member services Suzanne Tyler, said: ‘Quite frankly these findings are deeply worrying. There is a pressing need to find out why it is happening. This and other reports suggest there is discrimination in the NHS and it must be tackled and it must be stopped.

‘The NHS needs to make sure that staff are treated fairly and equitably. We need the NHS to provide a truly inclusive service and have an NHS which treats all service users with respect, dignity and compassion.’

The RCM report can be read here


This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.