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Racial harassment of staff at Royal Preston, Chorley and South Ribble Hospitals on the rise

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Abuse and harassment directed at hospital staff from minority ethnic backgrounds is on the rise in central Lancashire.

Figures reveal that more than a fifth of Black and Minority Ethnic workers at the Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospitals were on the receiving end of abuse from the public during 2017.

Royal Preston Hospital

Royal Preston Hospital

The total proportion – at 21 percent – is slightly lower than the figure for white staff, but still a marginal increase on the 18 percent reported the previous year.

The experience of white staff members remains unchanged, with 23 percent having been victims of abuse.

A board meeting of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was told the figures meant the situation faced by its BME employees was “getting worse disproportionately”.

Karen Swindley, Workforce and Education Director at the trust, said the statistics could be a local manifestation of a national problem.

But she added: “We need to understand whether there are patterns [of abuse] amongst staff with particular characteristics.”

Board members heard that the issue was now being tackled as a top priority and that a previous zero tolerance campaign could be updated.

Instances of harassment and abuse of BME staff by their own colleagues reduced last year, but still stands at 20 percent.