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NHS accused of racism after reply to application calls woman ‘another Nigerian’

The email exchange was branded ‘truly distressing’ by one NHS Trust (Picture: Getty)

A Nigerian nurse who caught Covid while working for the NHS was sent a derogatory comment when she applied for another job in the health service.

The unnamed medic, who her daughter says worked throughout the pandemic, went for a new role in the Midlands over email.

But someone involved in the recruitment process sent back a reply which read: ‘Another one but again Nigerian’, in what appears to have been an attempt to forward the message on to another person.

The exchange sparked outrage and concern on social media, with two local health organisations condemning the email and publicly apologising.

Twitter user sxde posted pictures of the conversation on Twitter, explaining: ‘My mum has just worked as 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.’

Metro.co.uk has attempted to contact the daughter for further details.

The email exchange highlighted the applicant’s nationality (Picture: Twitter/sxde)
The woman’s daughter said her mum had worked throughout the pandemic (Picture: Twitter/sxde)

Her mother applies for a GP practical nurse role over email and includes what appears to be a CV in the message.

Then someone from an NHS body, whose signature includes the title ‘practice nurse’, appears to attempt to forward the email, but instead replies 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 organisation and it does not reflect the values we hold dear. We’ve raised with the right organisation 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.’

NHS England have been contacted for comment.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.


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