North Bristol hands red card to racism

North Bristol NHS Trust has today launched a “Red Card to Racism” campaign to protect all staff from any discrimination.

Following a national trend, staff have reported that incidents of racism on wards have increased over the past year so the hospital will be enforcing its zero tolerance policy against abusive behaviour.

This means that any patient abusing staff will be challenged and warned, leading to a sports-style disciplinary yellow card and then final red card in which treatment would be withdrawn as soon as is safe.

Any visitors causing disturbance or behaving in an unacceptable manner will get one verbal warning before being removed.

Andrea Young, Chief Executive from North Bristol NHS Trust said:

“We have staff from many different backgrounds, from all over the world, and we pride ourselves on our commitment to equality which is a fundamental value of the NHS.

“We’re sending a strong signal that any racism or discrimination is completely unacceptable – we want staff to challenge and report it and we want everyone to know that it will have consequences.”

The abusive behaviour policy covers anyone with mental capacity making:

  • Racist or sexist language, gestures or behaviour.
  • Excessive noise.
  • Abuse of alcohol or drugs.
  • Threatening and offensive language.
  • Malicious allegations.
  • Intentional damage to trust property.

Any cases will be reported on the trust’s incident management system and on patients’ individual notes.

Posters around the hospital and videos and photos on social media will inform staff that they are protected by the policy and encourage them to speak up if they witness or experience an incident of racism or discrimination.

The hospital will also be calling for staff to join its Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network to champion the approach and to provide support to any affected staff.

Alex Raikes from Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI) said:

“SARI is working with a number of hospital trusts regarding racist incidents towards staff and patients, and is pleased to be supporting a dedicated working group at NBT in enforcing the zero tolerance approach towards racism and hate crime.

“It is crucial that hospitals are safe, respectful and inclusive environments, and that all the hard-working employees’ feel fully supported when they face such abuse.

“It’s great to see NBT putting out the strongest message possible to the wider community about the abhorrence of any forms of discrimination against their staff or visitors.”