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BAME staff

(55 Posts)
Pomegranatepompom Thu 04-Jun-20 23:34:51

Which professions are currently asking BAME staff to shield/WFH?

We are not currently in the NHS trust I work in (London) - probably because we'd have to close services. I do wonder if we should have special measures in place and I'd like to raise this point next week in our hospital zoom meeting. Apparently everyone is going to have a risk assessment but it's taking a while ...
Interested in what other professions are doing.

I know there are lots of differences with shielding depending what hospital you work in. Currently people with asthma are working (unless severe) and people can choose to work clinical or WFH if pregnant. Clinical staff who can't go home due to vulnerable household members, are living away from home or if admin, are WFH.

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pfrench Thu 04-Jun-20 23:39:18

Primary school. We decided to keep BAME staff at home for now. Unknowns.

Pomegranatepompom Thu 04-Jun-20 23:49:40

I doubt we could tell staff to stay home unless there is new guidance - but we could protect by moving areas, staggering start times.
Probably 1/3 of the hospital are BAME.

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PicsInRed Thu 04-Jun-20 23:49:47

Will the BAME staff get a choice in whether they are shielded/kept home?

Pomegranatepompom Thu 04-Jun-20 23:52:23

I would like that to be discussed. We need to protect people who are higher risk. I do think there’s a sense of people soldiering on- currently only 3% of staff are shielding or have symptoms. We gather the data daily.

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Callimanco Thu 04-Jun-20 23:56:00

I think this is tricky. A black 25 year old may have a greater chance of dying than a white 25 year old, and a Bangladeshi 25 year old higher still, but all 3 have a far lower risk of dying than a white 55 year old man.

Age is by far the strongest predictor of risk. I don't think it's logically defensible to shield young bame staff and not all staff - especially men- over 50 or 55.

CountessFrog Thu 04-Jun-20 23:56:19

NHS psychiatry. We worked out we have to basically cut mental health services to 1/3 of current capacity in our area. The problem was mainly high number of doctors from BAME backgrounds.

I’m guessing that if some professions ask these staff to stay home, the NHS will justifiably do the same and nhs services will be a bit fucked.

Pomegranatepompom Fri 05-Jun-20 00:04:14

I agree very tricky.
But if other professions are shielding, nhs reasonably should as well. My guess is most people will choose to work. I think very unlikely the shield list will be expanded again.
But if BAME, hypertensive, over 50 and you worked in my team, I’d do all I can to facilitate WFH.

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CountessFrog Fri 05-Jun-20 00:13:36

Yes absolutely.

pfrench Fri 05-Jun-20 00:19:27

We went with staying home as default. So no pressure to be in. Individual risk assessment if you need to be in.

nobbymcphailisverypale Fri 05-Jun-20 00:37:30

I work for a London NHS trust and we would collapse if all BAME staff had to WFH / shield.

girlofthenorth Fri 05-Jun-20 00:39:17

NHS acute but not frontline - our BAME staff are shielding but luckily can wfh in service . Ours ( including me ) are on other vulnerable list but after 2 nd risk assessment will rotate wfh and office with distancing . I think it depends on area but I strongly feel BAME in nhs should be told to shield . Loss of staff will be huge though so I think it will be worded as choice ..hmm

BigChocFrenzy Fri 05-Jun-20 00:42:57

The overwhelming risk is age, not ethnicity
Also, men have about 50% more risk than women of the same age

Risk doubles with about every 7 years of age
A black person seems to have about the same risk as a white person of the same sex who is 10 years older
However, some Asian races don't have an increased risk, while some do

imo staff of any race, any job, should be allowed to WFH at age 60+ if at all possible
and an employer should otherwise be legally required to show this is not possible

SlobberedOnRepublica Fri 05-Jun-20 00:55:44

I don’t think there’s enough evidence to say it’s BAME itself that is the vulnerable factor. It’s more that they are disproportionately affected by other factors eg deprivation, geography, over representation in front line medical roles, obesity, diabetes, hypertension. At least that’s what most of the evidence points to.

Men appear to be more affected but we’re not saying they shouldn’t work.

donquixotedelamancha Fri 05-Jun-20 01:00:37

*The overwhelming risk is age, not ethnicity
Also, men have about 50% more risk than women of the same age*

This. If you plan on sending people home based on skin colour then presumably all the men too.

A black person seems to have about the same risk as a white person of the same sex who is 10 years older

Yes, but not necessarily because they are black. The age and sex correlations are very likely to be causal (immune system effectiveness) but much of the ethnicity correlation may not be.

The most likely causal link to skin colour (vitamin D deficiency) is easily rectified.

Antibles Fri 05-Jun-20 01:04:13

Age is by far the strongest predictor of risk. I don't think it's logically defensible to shield young bame staff and not all staff - especially men- over 50 or 55.

This. Age, sex and obesity are major factors. Why make a special case for BAME staff?

CountessFrog Fri 05-Jun-20 01:11:00

It must also depend on where they work?

BAME working in an office, generally less risky than, say, doctor in ICU?

Tbh it’s hard to justify not accepting vulnerable groups shielding in some professions and not others. Lots of talk about schools not opening in September due to staff shielding, however they are at less risk than frontline NHS staff. The nhs will collapse if their staff shield, however their union will make direct comparison with teaching.

DianaT1969 Fri 05-Jun-20 01:11:56

Agree with a previous poster that it's unlikely to be BAME itself, but that a higher proportion may have diabetes, prediabetes, overweight/obese and vitamin D deficiency among other factors.
If white men 60+ and elderly people 80+ of all races are the highest casualties, then it is more complex than only shielding BAME staff. I would welcome more risk assessments and opportunities for people who feel they are at risk to transfer away from the frontline or work from home.

pfrench Fri 05-Jun-20 07:35:51

Yes, and this why individual risk assessment. From a school perspective we just don't know the deal yet. Too many unknowns, better to be on the safe side.

Pomegranatepompom Fri 05-Jun-20 07:57:39

The discussion needs to be had, after all it’s happening in schools, imo we need to demonstrate to nhs BAME staff that we are acknowledging and acting on what the evidence suggests, there is increased risk. So yes, individual risk assessments for everyone which would then pick up any anyone - not just older white males that might need extra consideration.
I think I’m all likelihood- staff would be moved from high risk areas.

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Pomegranatepompom Fri 05-Jun-20 07:59:41

Some of these replies feel a bit dismissive.

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BrokenBrit Fri 05-Jun-20 08:01:51

I don’t feel as a female in my 30s that I am at any greater risk than a male in his 50s, probably much less risk. So I don’t support a blanket stay home for people who are BAME. But I do support anyone’s right to stay home if they are concerned or if they are vulnerable in any way, and race should be considered along with the other important factors of age, sex, underlying conditions and body weight.

SoVeryLost Fri 05-Jun-20 08:04:26


Some of these replies feel a bit dismissive.

Of course they are. This is mumsnet, posters here on the whole will fight against BAME people.

@Callimanco the highest risk is to Black Africans...

Pomegranatepompom Fri 05-Jun-20 08:06:25

Yes I’ve seen that on other threads 😢

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Dozer Fri 05-Jun-20 08:14:57

Doesn’t “shielding” refer to people with conditions putting them at high risk who have had a letter advising them to SAH? Which obviously has big implications for their work/household as well.

Then lots more “vulnerable” people - age, health conditions, ethnicity, weight.

“Vulnerable” with jobs and employers will have a range of circumstances.

It seems unlikely that most employers will facilitate all in that category to wfh or be on furlough long term, or differentiate between “vulnerable” people unless govt guidance advises them to do so.

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