Exploring structural racism, inequalities in the NHS through different lenses

Subodh Dave, Santosh Mudholkar, Rajesh Mohan

75 minutes


July 2023

Congress webinar 2023


This session connects the history of the British Empire and present day racism and discrimination faced by minority ethnic groups in the UK. Between the 17th and 20th century, the British Empire colonised nations across the globe. Britain was involved in the slave trade and slavery as British industries used raw materials, natural resources and cheap labour from its colonies.

The Empire’s pursuit of global supremacy meant prolonged oppression of other nations causing economic and cultural destruction and colossal suffering. Colonisation irreversibly altered the political and socio-economic landscape of oppressed nations and devalued indigenous cultures and knowledge.

The UK National Health Service relies heavily on an international ethnic minority workforce, mostly from its former colonies who report discrimination and marginalisation at work. The COVID-19 pandemic caused higher mortality and morbidity among ethnic minority staff. Evidence suggests that discriminatory pandemic measures and pre-existing power imbalances have contributed to the problem. Minority ethnic groups also experience significant healthcare inequalities, in access, experience and outcomes. Research has revealed the impact of structural racism in mediating and perpetuating these ethnic inequalities.

Understanding transgenerational racial trauma is essential to ensure equity for patients and staff. We will explain The RCPsych equality initiatives to educate, address the impact of structural racism driving healthcare inequalities.

In this session you will:

- Learn history of British Empire and its impact on former British colonies.

- Understand current NHS initiatives to tackle in racism and inequalities.

- Develop an understanding of the need to decolonise psychiatric curriculum.


Chair: Subodh Dave, Royal College of Psychiatrists, London, United Kingdom

Santosh Mudholkar, West London NHS Trust, United Kingdom

Rajesh Mohan, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom


Log in to see options tailored to you