The NMC will investigate an ‘unacceptable’ email sent by a GPN about the nationality of a Nigerian nurse applying for a job at their practice.
The daughter of the nurse took to Twitter over the weekend to share the comment on her mother’s job application from a staff member at NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group. It read: ‘Another one but again Nigerian’.
On Twitter, the daughter explained her mother had worked as a nurse in the NHS throughout the pandemic, before getting Covid-19 at work. After recovering, she applied for the role in general practice.
The daughter added: ‘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.’
The tweet received tens of thousands of likes and retweets, with people saying the comment was ‘shocking’, ‘appalling’ and ‘needs to be addressed’.
In a statement, NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said: ‘We are aware of the unacceptable comment, which is another example of the long road ahead to stamping out discrimination.
‘We will work with the employer and the individuals involved to ensure the right support is provided and the appropriate action is taken.’
On Twitter, the CCG said it was ‘shocked’ by the message and would ‘investigate urgently’.
Robana Hussain-Mills, the co-founder of the British and Minority Ethnic General Practice Nurse Network (BME GPN Network), told Nursing in Practice she was ‘very saddened to read of this experience but not shocked by it’.
She continued: ‘At the moment, we do not have a general practice nurse workforce that is representative of our population. As we seek to know and learn of the barriers to BME nurses, we never thought for one minute it would be one of our own practice nurses.
‘I hope the nurse in this incident, and others who in the minority in thinking this way, are held accountable and know they will not take away from the dedication, compassion and incredible skill of our primary care nurses who do so much and who care for so many.’