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Nurse who tweeted about racist abuse receives award from trust

Staff nurse Aldarico Jr Velasco praised messages of support from the ‘virtual world’

Staff nurse Aldarico Jr Velasco praised messages of support from the ‘virtual world’ after posting

An emergency department nurse generated a tidal wave of support on social media and was given an award by his NHS trust after he tweeted about the racial abuse he suffered at work.

Staff nurse Aldarico Jr Velasco , who works at the Royal Derby Hospital, tweeted about shocking racist abuse from a patient after getting home from his shift.

A patient just shouted at me and called me a f***ing chinese c*nt. Work colleagues were quick to defend & rally behind me but man, it was sad. So I went home. Stared at the ceiling

Staff nurse Aldarico Jr Velasco praised messages of support from the ‘virtual world’ after posting

Aldarico Jr Velasco received a Making A Difference award from UHDB NHS Foundation Trust

An emergency department nurse generated a tidal wave of support on social media and was given an award by his NHS trust after he tweeted about the racial abuse he suffered at work.

Staff nurse Aldarico Jr Velasco, who works at the Royal Derby Hospital, tweeted about shocking racist abuse from a patient after getting home from his shift.

The tweet gained messages of support from around the world

‘Work colleagues were quick to defend and rally round me but man, it was sad,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘So I went home. Stared at the ceiling for 10 minutes. Took a shower, sent this tweet and prepared for another day of work.’

‘No colleague here at UHDB should be subject to racial abuse. If we let it go, then nothing will ever change,’

Gavin Boyle, chief executive, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

The powerful message generated more than 300,000 likes with thousands of people getting in touch with messages of support from across the world.

Mr Velasco was praised for standing up to racism by University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB) NHS Foundation Trust and presented with a Making A Difference award by chief executive Gavin Boyle.

Support from colleagues on the online community

‘No colleague here at UHDB should be subject to racial abuse. If we let it go, then nothing will ever change,’ said Mr Boyle.

Mr Velasco, who is originally from the Philippines, thanked colleagues who supported him.

‘When I got home after the incident, I was alone in my flat so there was no one to speak to in person about what happened,’ he said. ‘That’s where the virtual world of Twitter helped to support me.’

He said the responses he received, many from people he had never met before, ‘made my Filipino heart very happy’.

Racism is the most common form of discrimination when nurses face abuse at work

NHS Staff Survey results from 2019 show nurses and others continue to face regular abuse and harassment at work with racism the most common form of discrimination.

RCN England director Mike Adams said: ‘It is deplorable to see nurses dealing with this kind of abuse. No one should have to tolerate racism at work but sadly too many nursing staff have experienced it. We will continue to work with employers in the NHS and independent health and care to ensure all nursing staff are respected and safe.’

Priorities in the We are the NHS People Plan for 2020/21, published by NHS England, NHS Improvement and Health Education England in July last year, include tackling discrimination.


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