Since the 1950s, black nurses have been supporting the health and well-being of the British public within NHS hospitals and nursing homes. But how has the public returned this outpouring of kindness and specialist help from black nurses within the East Midlands? Factors such as black nurses and midwives earning as much as £2,700 less per year than their white counterparts suggests that overall attitudes and views of black nurses in Britain have not changed on the surface as they are still being undervalued for their time.
I spoke to two black nurses from Nottinghamshire. Ruth* moved from Zambia to the UK in 2001 to begin her career in NHS nursing. She was placed in a small mining town outside of Nottingham, before the rest of her family moved over to join her in 2002. Thandie* moved from Zimbabwe to the UK in 2002, starting in London as a nurse and then relocating to the East Midlands in 2006 to work in nursing homes. Would attitudes to black nurses differ in NHS institutions and nursing homes in the same area? Have attitudes to black nurses in East Midlands’ white areas actually changed? I asked these questions to find out.