Issue - decisions

Issue - decisions

Motions on notice 20 July 2020 - Disproportionate deaths from Covid-19 of Health and care workers from Black, Asian and ethnic minorities

29/07/2020 - Disproportionate deaths from Covid-19 of Health and care workers from Black, Asian and ethnic minorities

Councillor Bely Summers, seconded by Councillor Azad proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion as amended was agreed.


Council resolved to adopt the following motion:

People from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds are twice as likely to die of Covid-19 in the UK as white British people. This is the conclusion of the Public Health Report (PHE) Beyond the data: understanding the impact of Covid-19 on BAME groups.

44% of NHS doctors are from ethnic minority backgrounds but they accounted for 90% of the deaths of doctors. Black, Asians and ethnic minority nurses are 20% of the workforce but accounted for 75% of deaths.

Ethnic minority healthcare workers and care workers believe systemic racism and discrimination in the NHS and in the Social Care sector is one of the reasons many of their colleagues died.

The report highlights

  • Lack of representation in senior roles
  • Being less likely to seek care due to poorer experience with the NHS.
  • Being less likely to speak up when they had concerns about PPE and risks
  • A higher proportion of healthcare workers from ethnic minority working on Covid wards and care homes.

The Covid-19 pandemic has simply shone a light on a widespread entrenched problem. From the ongoing hostile environment and the Windrush scandal to the health surcharges for migrants. Local health unions have testimonies of ethnic minority healthcare workers and care workers not protected at work.

Some have left the profession, others have had to make life or death decisions. In modern Britain this is unacceptable.

The first PHE report commissioned by ministers explained why some populations groups are more affected than others but did not publish the recommendations which would have helped to reduce the disparities.

The chapter on community engagement was missing silencing again the voices of those who have been the most affected in spite of a very extensive consultation.

We have clapped for our NHS staff who have risked their lives to save us as well as our care workers. Far too many have made the ultimate sacrifice. Now it is time to address systemic racism, injustice and discriminations in our institutions and communities.


Oxford City Council therefore

1.     supports calls for extensive research to be funded on the disproportionate number of deaths of ethnic minority workers and care workers with clear recommendations; and

2.     asks the Leader to write to Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to request as a priority that PHE and the government implement in full and within a clear timeline all the seven recommendations set out in ‘Beyond the data : understanding the impact of Covid-19 on BAME groups’:

·       comprehensive and quality ethnicity data collection and recording

·       support community participatory research

·       improve access, experiences and outcomes of NHS

·       accelerate the development of culturally competent occupational risk assessment tools

·       culturally competent Covid-19 education and prevention campaign

·       target culturally competent health promotion and disease prevention programmes

·       reduce inequalities caused by the wider determinants of health.