A Nigerian nurse who caught COVID-19 while working for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK has received a derogatory comment when she applied for another job in the health service.
The nurse, (name withheld) was said to have worked throughout the pandemic, according to her daughter, she went for a new role in the Midlands over email.
However, someone in the recruitment process sent a reply which read, "Another one but again Nigerian"; this appeared to have been an attempt to forward the message to another person.
The correspondence has sparked outrage and concern on social media, with two local health organizations condemning the email and publicly apologizing.
The Twitter user, sxde, posted pictures of the conversation on Twitter, she explained, “My mum has just worked as a nurse throughout the pandemic, a year after qualifying. Got COVID at work. She recovered (we thank God) and went back to work. She’s now decided to apply for a new role in a different setting and this is what was sent to her by the recruiter.
“I believe this was clearly not intended for us to see, but it confirmed what is being said behind the scenes. This is unprofessional, prejudice, and incredibly discriminatory language which is against the NHS and Nursing code of conduct.”
Her mother applied for a GP practical nurse role over email and included what appeared to be a CV in the message.
Someone from the NHS body, whose signature included the title “practice nurse”, appeared to attempt to forward the email, but mistakenly replied to the applicant, writing “Another one but again Nigerian”.
Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust branded the message “truly distressing” and said it had raised the concerns. It tweeted: “This is a truly distressing message and we are sorry that something like this has been shared with your mother. Be assured this is not our organization and it does not reflect the values we hold dear. We’ve raised with the right organization asking they contact you immediately.”
The NHS Coventry and Warwickshire CCG added: “We’ve just been alerted to your tweet and we are shocked by the message your mother received it does not reflect our values or those of the NHS.
“We’ve sent you a DM please can you contact us so we can investigate urgently?”
The NHS relies on huge numbers of foreign workers, from various different countries and backgrounds to function, with the system and staff coming under huge pressure during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Florence Nightingale Museum wrote: ‘So sorry to read this. Sad & disgraceful. The individual who wrote this may be surprised & embarrassed to know that the first black nurse in the NHS was Nigerian – Kofoworola Pratt. She left an amazing legacy in global nursing.’
According to Metro.co.uk, NHS England has been contacted for comment.
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