Institutional racism in healthcare services: using mainstream methods to develop a practical approach

Woodger, David. 2010. Institutional racism in healthcare services: using mainstream methods to develop a practical approach. Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, 3(4), pp. 36-44. ISSN 1757-0980 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this article, we return to a piece of work we did with two NHS trusts in the mid 1990s that focused squarely on tackling institutional racism. We do this for two reasons. First, because we feel that the current context for equalities may be obscuring the need to continue to find ways to tackle institutional racism. Second, we brought together very achievable survey and group work techniques in a co-produced process, which makes tackling institutional racism less laden with rhetoric and much more of a practical proposition. This article articulates a three-staged approach to identifying racism operating inside the trusts, an appraisal of the experience of black patients and the development of learning groups. In these learning groups, black and white practitioners and managers engaged with each other on their impacts and relationships with black patients, thereby changing their practices with all patients. What achieves equality of health service response from this experience is the creation of an environment in which practitioners can become self-motivated in re-working ‘with and for themselves’ the way they work with patients based on a recognition of racial identities in service relationships.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)



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Date Deposited:

03 Nov 2013 14:03

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2017 10:14

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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