I posted this in The Guardian yesterday in response to a piece about migrants in the NHS:
I am in and out of hospital a lot these days. Five years ago, which is when my illness really kicked in 95% of nurses were white/British. Now the ratio is more like 75%/25%; the 25% being Asian in this part of the UK.
I have no statistics to support this assertion only my own observations as I lie in bed on the ward. They are not just doing the bed-changing and the hand-holding; there was a Filipino nurse in A&E running the entire ward single-handedly and doing a great job in incredibly difficult circumstances [drunks/violent old guys/ other old guys falling out of bed]. What she couldn’t handle however were the visitors. The visitors who came outside of visiting hours; the visitors who arrived en-masse instead of keeping to the rules of only two at a time; the visitors yelling into their phones, keeping everyone else on the ward awake and very much aware of their presence. Because a Filipino nurse cannot tell a white woman what to do. Cannot tell her to switch off her phone or come back later when the first group of visitors have left.
I used to think that if they could come back at night and observe the nurse’s kindness to their old dad; changing his sheets that he poo-ed on; spoon-feeding him mashed potato for fifteen minutes; keeping an eye on him and ensuring that his pillows are puffed-up, then their racist attitudes would evaporate but now they do turn up at night and they see all this and they still talk to her like she crawled from under a rock.
What they need of course is support from the Matrons but there are no Matrons: they have all gone into private nursing banks for twice the money.
I thought I would post it here because it achieved 20 Likes and quite a few complimentary comments.