HOSPITAL bosses have said they are committed 'equality, diversity and inclusion' and have vowed to do more to support BAME staff.

It comes following Black Lives Matter protests across the UK sparked by the death of George Floyd in the US and a Public Health England report confirming black and other ethnic minorities are more at risk from coronavirus.

Banbury Cake:

Chief People Officer Terry Roberts and Chief Executive Dr Bruno Holthof

A joint message to staff from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) Chief Executive Dr Bruno Holthof and Chief People Officer Terry Roberts said throughout the pandemic ‘our strength has been in our common purpose and togetherness’ adding this was ‘rooted in the diversity of our workforce’.

It continued: “Now, more than ever, it is important for us to pull together as we see the shocking scale of racism which is still sadly prevalent in society today.

WATCH: Hundreds flock to Oxford park for Black Lives Matter protest

“And as we discover more about the disproportionate impact which Covid-19 is having on people from BAME communities - including our staff.

“We recognise that our BAME staff colleagues may be feeling a heightened sense of anxiety, vulnerability and indeed anger at this time.”

Three of the four OUH workers who have died with coronavirus or suspected coronavirus are from ethnic minorities.

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The hospital chiefs said the message to staff was to ‘reaffirm our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion here at OUH’ and were taking action to address inequalities including ‘ensuring that inclusive recruitment is a key part of training’ for managers.

It also said the trust wanted to ensure that BAME staff have a ‘stronger voice’ in the organisation and invited them to join the staff network.

It added racism or harassment of any kind would not be tolerated and OUH has 'a zero tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviours'.

The message ended: “We know that as a trust there is much more we need to do - and the Trust Board is committed to driving this work forward with all staff at OUH.”