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Race campaigner criticises trust over ‘I’m new here’ badges for nurses from overseas

Equality 4 Black Nurses founder said singling out foreign recruits was outrageous
Great Ormond Street Hospital, where overseas staff are offered ‘Im new here' badges to wear

Equality 4 Black Nurses founder said singling out foreign recruits was outrageous as trust reveals it now plans to offer the badges to all new staff

An NHS trust’s use of badges for recently-arrived foreign nurses has prompted criticism from an equality campaigner.

The badges, introduced by Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, state the nurses wearing them are highly skilled but ‘new to the area’ and asks colleagues and others to be patient with them.

‘Nurses should not have to clarify they are competent’

But Nurse Neomi Bennett , founder of campaign group Equality 4 Black Nurses condemned them as ‘outrageous’ and said they risk singling out the nurses who wear them.

Equality 4 Black Nurses founder said singling out foreign recruits was outrageous as trust reveals it now plans to offer the badges to all new staff

Great Ormond Street Hospital, where overseas staff are offered ‘Im new here' badges to wear
Picture: iStock

An NHS trust’s use of badges for recently-arrived foreign nurses has prompted criticism from an equality campaigner.

The badges, introduced by Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, state the nurses wearing them are highly skilled but ‘new to the area’ and asks colleagues and others to be patient with them.

‘Nurses should not have to clarify they are competent’

But Nurse Neomi Bennett, founder of campaign group Equality 4 Black Nurses condemned them as ‘outrageous’ and said they risk singling out the nurses who wear them.

Ms Bennett told Nursing Standard: ‘The nurses should not have to clarify and verify that they are competent.’

The wording of the Great Ormond Street badge for new recruits
The badge’s wording

The hospital said the initiative was prompted in part by feedback from a group of Filipino nurses who joined the trust this year.

Initially, it said the badges were for nurses who were recent overseas recruits, but it has since revealed it will offer them to all new staff, as happens elsewhere.

Warning of wider implications for staff facing discrimination

Ms Bennett feared an initiative only for nurses from overseas had wider implications for all black, Asian and minority ethnic staff.

‘You are ‘othering’ them. The impact of discrimination is so huge, and by putting a badge on it, it’s like the trust is trivialising the problem,’ she said.

And Middlesex University adult nursing lecturer Sheila Sobrany cautioned: ‘Coming from overseas, a lot of nurses feel they are pressured into doing something they don’t agree with, especially if they are not used to using their voice in the way we do in the West.’

Helpful for all nurses joining the trust

A Great Ormond Street spokesperson said: ‘The badges were made following listening events with our international nurses as well as feedback from nurses who were given them when deployed to other hospitals during COVID surges.

‘They felt they had a really positive impact when starting in unfamiliar settings and this was something we wanted to replicate for all nurses who join us at GOSH, if they would like to wear one.’


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