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NEWS: Practices to learn how to prevent patient racism

by in GP Practice Management, News

GP leaders have promised a new drive to improve racial equality in the profession, including the introduction of bystander training on how to deal with racist patients.

Many GPs face regular micro and macro-aggression because of their ethnicity -and bystander training will teach GPs and their staff how to challenge racism and discrimination. This could include seeking to achieve behaviour change amongst perpetrators and helping them to “unlearn” entrenched attitudes, the Royal College of GPs says.

The college says it will also seek to tackle racial bias within the profession – with a particular emphasis on providing support for trainees who face racism in their posts. Further work will include bringing forward positive role models from under-represented groups in general practice. The college says that GP training must reflect diversity, culture and inclusion.

A college statement said: “We have already put measures in place, including diversity and inclusion training for all College Officers, Council members, examiners and staff. Recent events have highlighted the need to accelerate this work, that we need to lead more by example, and take further action that represents the core values of a fair society and maintains the trust of our GP colleagues, patients and communities.”

* The college has apologised for describing Covid-19 as a “lifestyle disease”, it was reported today. The description was used for the title of an on-line conference but one GP, Dr Stephanie deGiorgio, responded: “Covid is a virus, it’s not a lifestyle disease. I am quite frankly horrified that you are encouraging this agenda” the Times reports.

Another GP stated: “I have thought about this all day and have to say you dishonour the thousands of people who have perished. Age, ethnicity, male, are clearly not lifestyle related.”

Over the weekend, the college issued a statement, stating: “The RCGP does not consider Covid-19 to be a lifestyle disease. We recognise that the title of today’s conference could be misleading and we apologise for any offence caused. The purpose of the conference is to support GPs to give appropriate lifestyle advice for patients.”

College chair Professor Martin Marshall said: “The purpose of the conference was to support GPs to offer lifestyle advice to patients generally, and in the context of Covid-19, and by all accounts it was a productive meeting that more than 500 delegates attended. The title and course description was misjudged and misleading and we issued a clarification as soon as it was brought to our attention.”

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