Ishmael Beckford is our EDI and Sustainability Director and also a member of the Executive Management Team at Vita Health Group.
Ishmael is also the Chair of Council at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Here, he writes about the impact of microaggressions on both staff and patients, and says that tackling the issue should be a priority for the NHS.
“But where are you really from?”
I doubt there can be many NHS staff of colour who have not been asked this question at some point.
The insinuation – whether conscious or not – is that our ethnicity means we cannot be from the UK, an alienating statement that tells us we don’t belong. It’s an example of what’s known as a microaggression, an often-overlooked form of discrimination and one that NHS system leaders could deliver a transformative effect on by tackling.
It won’t be easy.
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