Friday, November 17, 2006

Black Nurses 1983 CRE

Commission For Racial Equality 1983 Report


There are about 490,000 nurses and midwives in the NHS. A study of overseas nurses in Britain in 1972 showed that an average of 9% of all National Health Service hospital nurses in 1971 were 'immigrant', ie born in a 'developing' country and arriving in the UK after the age of 16.

'Immigrants' formed 20% of pupil nurses, 15% of midwives and 14% of student nurses. At sister and senior level, however, proportions of 'immigrant' staff dropped to 4% and 1%.
Department of Health (DHSS) statistics of student and pupil nurses and pupil midwives in training in National Health Service hospitals in England and Wales (at 31 December 1978) showed that about 9% of these trainees were from Commonwealth countries. These statistics showed that Commonwealth born student nurses formed about 5% of all student nurses and pupil nurses, while Commonwealth pupil midwives formed about 18% of their group. However, these averages conceal significant variations in some areas. The study mentioned above showed, for example, that in the North East Thames Region, 16% of pupil nurses were born in overseas Commonwealth countries compared with 1.5% in Yorkshire Regional Health Authority.

There is now a higher proportion of trained overseas-born nurses than there are overseas-born nurses in training, which may be a result of the advice of the DHSS in recent years which has discouraged recruitment of students and pupils in their countries of origin

Training opportunities for nurses

There are claims that black nurses are pressured into undertaking SEN courses, even when they have sufficient academic qualifications for an SRN course. A recent example of such allegations appeared in the Nursing Times, which quoted a 1979 survey of 365 overseas learners of whom half said that their
UK gained qualification would not be recognised in their home countries.

In a recent study undertaken by the Polytechnic of North London, Migrant
Workers in the National Health Service, it was found that Irish nurses were
more likely to have reached the grades of Ward Sister, Nursing Officer or Senior Nursing Officer than their English counterparts (35% compared with 20%), whereas the West Indian nurses were less likely, with only 10% in those grades. Wider research could show how representative this report is, but it clearly demonstrates the need to examine the possibility that direct and indirect discrimination may be occurring.