Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups

June 2020

 

Dear Constituent,

 

Thank you for writing to me about the effect of Covid-19 on BAME communities. I have read your email carefully and noted the key points you raise.

 

The Health Secretary commissioned Public Health England (PHE) to complete an urgent review on the disparities in risk and outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic and has now published its findings. The report confirms that being black or from a minority ethnic background is a major risk factor, both in contracting the disease and, sadly, dying from it. There is much more work to be done to understand the key drivers of these disparities, the relationships between the different risk factors and what must be done to close the gap. It is important that we build on this initial work.

 

To read the report please see:

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/892376/COVID_stakeholder_engagement_synthesis_beyond_the_data.pdf

 

Professor Kevin Fenton was asked to lead the review by PHE and has been engaging with a significant ​number of individuals and organisations within the BAME community over the past couple of months to hear their views. This has now been published in a second report by PHE which provides additional information and insights on the relationship between COVID-19 and BAME communities in England. I am encouraged that this report makes a series of recommendations which build on the views shared with Professor Fenton. I understand the Equalities Minister will build on this by taking forward this work, working with the Race Disparity unit and across government where necessary.

 

These reports are an important step, but this work is still ongoing. I will continue to follow this issue extremely closely and to press ministerial colleagues to tackle health inequalities.

 

Thank you again for writing to me about this important issue.

 

With best wishes.

 

Kind regards,

 

Jonathan Lord MP

Member of Parliament for Woking