UK: Racists, Sexists May be Denied Healthcare


Under new rules, National Health Service staff can choose to deny disciminatory patients non-critical healthcare.

The decision, predicted by some with tongue-in-cheek memes on social media, is set to grant staff power that covers aggression and/or violence as well as expressions of a discriminatory nature.

Starting in April, the new rules will be enforced, extending current protections to “harassment, bullying or discrimination, including homophobic, sexist or racist remarks,” according to Sky News.

The measures are not, however, brand new.

National File reported on a similar situation at a hospital in the West of England, which granted their staff power to deny healthcare to racists.

Via National File:

Bristol Southmead Hospital says it could withdraw treatment from those who make racist or sexist remarks to their staff.

North Bristol Trust (NBT) launched its Red Card to Racism campaign after staff complained about an upsurge in abuse from patients and visitors on hospital grounds.

Racist or sexist language, gestures, or behavior has been included within the definition of this form of abuse.

The scheme promises a similar style of disciplinary action to soccer or rugby where individuals will be penalized with yellow cards–denoting a warning–and a red card for a second offense which would warrant expulsion from the hospital.

The Health Secretary, who has signaled his horror at the extent of abuse suffered by staff on shift, informed NHS staff that there would be a tough crackdown on abuse against staff, saying “no act of violence or abuse is minor.”

“Being assaulted or abused is not part of the job,” he added.

“Far too often I hear stories that the people you are trying to help lash out. I’ve seen it for myself in A&Es, on night shifts, and on ambulances.”

The new rules were inspired by a staff survey which found that more than a 25% of staff had experienced some form of bullying, harassment, or abuse.