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White NHS staff are told to study their 'privilege'


New 'anti-racism' guidance has been shared 'for white people' working within the national health service in a blog post on an official NHS website.

The NHS Leadership Academy, which prepares staff to take steps into more senior roles within the organisation, shared guidance for employees including recommendations to read up on 'white privilege' and ready themselves for political discussions at work. 

In five new tips published by Aishnine Benjamin, the head of equality, diversity and inclusion at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, white members of staff are told they should not be defensive and that 'ignorance isn't an excuse.'

Employees were also advised to listen to the lived experience of staff who come from an ethnic minority background, and to 'work on your empathy'.

In a final word of ambiguous advice, staff are reminded to 'be uncomfortable'.  

The 1,100 word blog post initially sees white staff singled out for the advice, before expanding to include 'general reads' and research on race in the United Kingdom. 

Aishnine Benjamin advises the health service's employees to not 'be defensive' and says 'ignorance isn't an excuse' as she warns black and Asian people will have personal stories of racism.

She goes further to say: 'Work on your empathy. Visualise yourself in the other person's shoes.

'Discrimination is dehumanisation and the only way to see a person as human is to empathise with them.'

Other suggestions penned by Ms Benjamin ask staff to consider attending a Black history 'walk or tour' and using 'your power and privilege for the benefit of humanity.'