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Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

A joint message from:
Debbie Fleming, joint Chief Executive
Alyson O'Donnell, Medical Director, RBCH
Matt Thomas, Medical Director, Poole Hospital
Joint BAME Staff Network
Joint Inclusion and Diversity team
Joint Human Resources Directorate

The brutal death of George Floyd by American police has ignited anger and a call for an end to racism, discrimination and injustice for black people across the world.

For the African and Afro-Caribbean community it is a painful reminder of the parallels in the systemic racism here in the UK, which has led to health inequalities in our very own NHS.

These health inequalities can kill – we know that black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. We have had a few BAME staff receiving treatment for COVID; fortunately they have all have made a positive recovery.

We also know that African and Afro-Caribbean women are five times more likely to die during childbirth than white women in the UK.

As a Trust, we do not tolerate racism and hate crime. Our hospitals are places where all our staff and patients should feel safe, protected, welcomed and listened to.

Sadly, we know from our Staff Survey in 2018 data that this is not always the case.

We don't want anyone to have to experience this in their lifetimes and we are working to address this.

In light of all of this, we want all African and Afro-Caribbean colleagues to feel confident that everything possible is being done to support staff them, and to ensure that their voices are heard.

We want all other staff to make themselves aware as to how they can step up to support their African and Afro-Caribbean colleagues and to be a true ally.

We want our African and Afro-Caribbean patients and members of the public to know that they are welcome and supported here.


We are committed to achieving this by means of the following:

  • Taking action to ensure that all African and Afro-Caribbean healthcare workers get the protection and support they need during Covid-19 and beyond. You can read a full list of the support on offer in the letter sent to all BAME staff here.
  • Encouraging and enabling the joint BAME Staff Network to reach out to staff who may be feeling anxious, distressed, worried or even afraid as a result of the recent protests. Colleagues can also access emotional support from the Occupational Health helpline.
  • Working together to address the under-representation of people from a African and Afro-Caribbean background within the different staff groups and wider governance arrangements of our two organisations, and ultimately, within our new merged organisation;
  • Ensuring that the Shadow Interim Board for our new merged organisation takes time to consider these issues, listening directly to the voices of African and Afro-Caribbean and BAME staff themselves and agreeing changes that will truly make a difference;
  • Leading by example in demonstrating a true commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion within our organisation(s) and the wider Dorset system. This is not an exhaustive list and these actions on their own will not eliminate the racial injustices African and Afro-Caribbean people face in their daily lives.

However, we will work hard to ensure that our health service is a fairer and more compassionate place to work and to receive care, so that black lives do truly matter.

This is our commitment and we will stick by it.

Black Lives Matter

What you can do to support Black Lives Matter

For more information on support available to our African and Afro-Caribbean colleagues and advice on how colleagues can support Black Lives Matter, please click here where you will find links to reading lists, guidance on how to be an ally and BLM pledge cards for you and your teammates.