'If the government truly agrees that Black lives matter, now is the time to prove it': The King's Fund responds to Public Health England BAME report

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Commenting on the Public Health England report, Covid-19: understanding the impact on BAME communities, Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said:

‘The report makes important recommendations with the potential to improve the lives of millions of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Many of the underlying issues identified in the report predate Covid-19, which has exacerbated deep inequalities. Too many recommendations from previous inequality reviews now sit gathering dust, so we hope this report finally prompts serious, tangible actions that are implemented rapidly.

‘Improved recording of ethnicity in care settings and on death certificates is long overdue, and it’s important to get this right to ensure we have accurate, reliable data that can be used to improve health outcomes.

‘We need to see renewed efforts to tackle racism and discrimination within the health and care system. It is shameful that people’s expectations and experiences of health services can still be shaped by the colour of their skin, while BAME staff are more likely to suffer bullying, harassment and discrimination, and remain under-represented in senior positions.

‘While health and care providers can do more to design services that better serve BAME communities, it is important to recognise that health inequalities are often symptoms of deeper inequalities in society. We can’t solve the problem without addressing the wider social, economic and environmental determinants of health, such as housing, education and employment opportunities. If the government truly agrees that Black lives matter, now is the time to prove it.’

Notes to editors

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 07584 146035 or mediaoffice@kingsfund.org.uk.

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.