ALMOST 30 per cent of black and minority ethnic hospital workers in Bolton reported abuse from patients or visitors in the past year, a new report has revealed.

Bolton Hospital NHS Trust has published a Workforce Race Equality report  which showed that of the trust’s 5,611 staff, 12.9 per cent came from a BAME background.

That was a slight increase from 12.4 per cent the previous year.

The trust increased its workforce by 154 in the year up to March 31, 2020.

Of those 29 per cent were BAME members of staff.

The number who reported bullying or harassment from patients or visitors was 29 per cent, a fall from the previous year when the figure was 32 per cent.

There was also a decrease in reports from white staff about abuse they had received with a decline from from 31 per cent to 22 per cent.

In the last 12 months the report states that more BAME staff have personally experienced discrimination from either their manager, team or colleague from 18 per cent in 2018/2019 to 21 per cent in 2019/20.

The percentage of BAME staff believing the trust provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion has decreased from 75 per cent to 68 per cent over the year and that figure has declined for three reporting periods.

James Mawrey, director of people at the trust said that actions had been put in place during the last year to improve equality and access to career progression.

He said: “A BAME Forum and has been established and is well attended.

“Currently just one third of NHS organisations have such a forum.

“Champions have been appointed from a wide diversity of backgrounds and includes a number of colleagues with protected characteristics.

“Our recruitment processes have been reviewed to ensure inclusion is included within all aspects of the recruitment cycle.

“This includes a toolkit to helps managers to develop inclusive practice at every step of the recruitment process, with a selection of interview questions.

“Leadership programmes have been developed in consultation with BAME staff.

“Specifically we will be introducing a 12-month development programme to provide the knowledge and skills to develop our BAME future leaders.

“This consists of 12 months of workplace improvement projects delivered through the lens of inclusion and participation of the newly developed reciprocal mentoring programme.”