Tuesday, June 04, 2013

How migrant workers built the NHS

Celebrating our diversity and multi-ethnic contribution. The NHS at 60 years. (18m35s)

These days we hear increasingly regular (and baseless) assertions that migrant workers are in some way to blame for a range of problems, including the performance of the NHS. The truth is very different. This film was made by my former colleagues at NHS North West, as part of a resource documenting the history and contribution of migrant workers (especially Black and Minority Ethnic people) to the establishment and running of the NHS. The complete resource includes a mobile exhibition, a booklet documenting the history and this film. The whole package was launched to mark the 60th Anniversary of the NHS in 2008.

As the Chair of the Royal College of GPs, Professor Clare Gerada summed it up, you are far more likely to encounter a migrant worker treating you in the NHS than contributing to any queues to take advantage of it.

1 comment:

Venita Johnson said...

Exceptions to immigration controls were made for essential and well-qualified staff, hence both nurses and doctors were exempt from the immigration controls imposed in the 1960s. In general, the men and women who came to work in the NHS were welcomed throughout this period of political agitation. Their professional status distinguished them from the mass of migrants, most of whom were classified as unskilled. In spite of his later vocal opposition to black and Asian immigration in general, Health Minister Enoch Powell championed the recruitment of overseas nurses in the early 1960s.

- Venita Johnson
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