NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) have highlighted the disproportionate effects of the Covid-19 infection in the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) population, including among health and social care workers.

David Wherrett, director of workforce, has written to members of CUH who have identified themselves as a member of the BAME community outlining our response and further areas of work that it taking place. The letter is available here: Impact of COVID-19 for colleagues from the BAME community.

Vaccine hesitancy

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has created some promotional videos to try to tackle vaccine hesitancy and to tackle misinformation. You can watch the videos here:

Introductory video
First video
Second video
Third video

Click here to read how experts answer the myths about Covid-19 and vaccinations; available in 15 different languages.

Staff risk assessment

The latest risk assessment for staff is available here. The most recent version includes changes to the criteria within the orange risk group, including ethnicity.

In the first instance you and your line manager are asked to familiarise yourself with this tool.  It is intended that all staff review the latest version, with particular focus on those staff with additional risk factors which may potentially lead them to a heightened level of risk (orange or yellow in the tool).  This includes BAME staff, staff over the age of 55, who have pre-existing health conditions or a combination of these. It is essential for any staff with heightened level of risk to complete the assessment in full and follow the control measures as outlined plus additional controls agreed with your manager.

The OH team remain available to support and advise individuals and managers as helpful.

Vaccine hesitancy

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has created some promotional videos to try to tackle vaccine hesitancy and to tackle misinformation. You can watch the videos here:

Introductory video
First video
Second video
Third video

Click here to read how experts answer the myths; available in 15 different languages.

BAME staff health taskforce

We have established a Covid-19 BAME Staff Health Taskforce to review what we know about the position and the steps we can take here. The group includes infectious disease specialists, the Trust’s medical director and workforce director and representatives of the BAME staff network.

More information will be published next week, both locally and nationally. One of the immediate actions we are taking, in light of the emerging evidence relating to BAME staff, is to further understand our own data around infection rates, PPE training and COVID-19 testing. This data alongside the awaited national evidence and guidance will inform what further action we take to ensure the care and safety of all colleagues and patients which is our priority. This is a complex piece of work as the variables and all vulnerabilities are considered.

BAME network

Our BAME network meets regularly via Zoom. There are formal, structured meetings every second Wednesday of the month, and the network also hosts weekly check-ins in between times. The check-ins are simply a space to chat, share any concerns and support each other over a cup of tea/coffee or lunch, with no formal agenda. For upcoming dates please see here: https://cuhstaffportal.co.uk/workforce-2/staff-networks/

The Trust’s Workforce Race Equality Standard

The Trust’s Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) report and action plan is co-produced with our BAME staff network. It sets out actions to address and promote race equality at CUH, which include our BAME staff and director mentoring scheme.

Our latest WRES report and action plan are available on the Trust website.

Occupational Health support

We also invite you to link with the various support mechanisms we have for staff especially at this time. Please do call the occupational health helpline if you have any queries or concerns on 01223 216767 or ohschelpline@addenbrookes.nhs.uk.


1. NHS confederation BME leadership network member briefing April 2020.

The impact of COVID-19 on BME communities and health and care staff.

This briefing considers the evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on black and minority ethnic (BME) communities and health and care staff. It explores potential underlying factors, recommends areas for action and offers practical advice on how to mitigate risks. Intended for senior health and care leaders, it aims to inform decision making and influence change.


2. BAME Covid-19 deaths – What do we know? Rapid data and evidence review. 05 May 2020.


The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) and University of Oxford

5 May 2020

Authors: Abdul Razaq, Dominic Harrison, Sakthi Karunanithi, Ben Barr, Miqdad Asaria, Kamlesh Khunti. Edited by Prof Trish Greenhalgh

With data on COVID-19 in BAME populations emerging daily, this rapid review aimed to evaluate the evidence on plausible associations between ethnicity and COVID-19 incidence and adverse health outcomes in the general population and people working in health and social care.

3. Are some ethnic groups more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others?


Authors: Lucinda Platt, London School of Economics and Ross Warwick (IFS)

1 May 2020(IFS and Nuffield Foundation – IFS Deaton Review)

This report brings together evidence on the unequal health and economic impacts of COVID-19 on the UK’s minority ethnic groups, presenting information on risk factors for each of the largest minority groups in England and Wales: white other, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, black African and black Caribbean.

4. NHS Confederation

Guidance about use of PPE including cultural considerations

5. NHS Employers Risk assessments for staff


6. Faculty of Occupational Medicine

Risk Reduction Framework for NHS staff at risk of COVID -19 infection. 12 May 2020


Key HSJ articles:


22 April 2020

https://www.hsj.co.uk/workforce/trust-treating-all-bame-staff-as-vulnerable-and-at-risk/7027500.article Somerset Trust 27 April

https://www.hsj.co.uk/workforce/bame-staff-should-be-risk-assessed-over-covid-concerns-says-nhse/7027531.article 29 April

https://www.hsj.co.uk/workforce/revealed-the-nhs-plan-to-protect-bame-staff-from-covid-19/7027571.article 6 May 2020


19 May 2020

Analysis of data on 203 publicly reported deaths of health and social care workers from covid-19, shows a significant over-representation of BAME individuals. This is the third article in a series produced by Lesa Kearney, Simon Lennane, Ella Woodman, Emira Kursumovic and Tim Cook


Partha Kar: “Covid-19 and ethnicity—why are all our angels white?”


The Guardian

Article by Omar Khan, Director of Runnymede Trust April 2020

“Coronavirus exposes how riddled Britain is with racial inequality”

Omar Khan


7. Ethnic minority NHS staff share their stories

Kings Fund Report ‘A long way to go’:


8. New report: workforce race inequalities and inclusion in NHS providers

The NHS has one of the most ethnically diverse workforces in the public sector. However, year after year, staff from ethnic minority backgrounds report worse experiences in terms of their lives and careers, when compared with white staff. In addition, people from an ethnic minority background are under-represented in senior positions in the NHS.

The King’s Fund has published a new report, Workforce race inequalities and inclusion in NHS providers, looking at how NHS organisations are addressing race inequalities and inclusion in the workforce. The report is accompanied by the stories of 12 people from ethnic minority backgrounds who share their personal experience of working in the NHS.

9. Mental health and wellbeing support for our BAME communities

NHS England have commissioned Liberate Meditation to work with the NHS to provide staff free access to their meditation and mindfulness app. The app offers culturally sensitive and diverse meditations, curated for the BAME community, by the BAME community, aiming to reduce anxiety, alleviate stress and promote rest.

All NHS staff have access to this resource via the NHS People site: https://people.nhs.uk/help/support-apps/liberate-meditation/

10. King’s fund presentation