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Friday, June 14, 2024

Racially abused nurse from Derry receives apology

Beverly SimpsonBeverly Simpson

A Londonderry nurse who was racially abused by a patient has said she received an apology after meeting Northern Ireland’s chief nursing officer.

Beverly Simpson told BBC Radio Foyle in September how she was subjected to hours of racist abuse by a patient.

Ms Simpson, who has been a nurse for more than 25 years, said she considered leaving the profession.

She said the meeting with Maria McIlgorm was a “positive step forward”.

“I wanted to get across that racism is real within the health sector,” Ms Simpson told BBC Radio Foyle.

“I think I got that point across and they were very open, it was a safe space and an apology was given by the chief nursing officer.”

BBC News NI has approached the Department of Health for a comment on the meeting.

Ms Simpson said that both Ms McIlgorm and Department of Health officials in the meeting on Wednesday “genuinely listened to what I was saying”.

“They want to look at policies at ways of safeguarding staff and funding around training,” she said.

“They are some areas they are going to look at and link with the minister [of health].

“Hopefully it all turns out positive because they are recruiting more nurses from overseas and I don’t want those nurses to face what I did and there must be immediate support for them.”

Following the racist abuse Ms Simpson experienced in a private healthcare setting, she said she wanted to speak out to make sure “any other nurse from a black or minority ethnic group did not feel alone”.

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She said she was glad “something positive” had come out of her experience and welcomed the “genuine apology”.

“The apology helps but it doesn’t make it right,” she said.

“It was good to know that racism will not be tolerated and abuse of staff in general will not be tolerated, whether private or NHS.

“They [nurses] may think this part of the job, abuse is never part of anyone’s job, I want people to know out there that there are people out there who have their backs and they will be covered and supported.”

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