Anti-Racism Community of Practice (AR-COP) Update
This community of practice has been established against a backdrop of poor experience and outcomes of psychological interventions for patients from racially minoritised backgrounds. In addition to this, there is a massive literature on the negative experiences of healthcare staff from racially minoritised backgrounds whether this is with respect to career opportunities or increased (and worse) experiences of disciplinary processes. Within the NE & Y PPN region, there are many trusts where significant improvement is required around their Workforce Race Equality Standards’ data, so this is clearly highly relevant to many of our members.
The group was established by Dr Romana Farooq and Dr Richard Thwaites (both clinical psychologists and co-chairs) and is supported by Yahya Delair (Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner) as Secretary. From its inception, our PPN Chair, Sharon Prince, has been highly supportive of this CoP and its unique approach.
The group has now met twice and established Terms of Reference along with a way of working that involves attendees
choosing to attend one of two race-based caucuses (one for those who identify as white and one for those who identify as being from a racially minoritised background). Both groups focus on a co-created topic of discussion and then feedback to each other.
For many people, this was their first experience of caucusing and evoked its own initial reaction. The caucus allows the group of individuals from racially minoritised backgrounds to talk with complete honesty without the pressure to consider how white people might be feeling or reacting to the content. It also allows white individuals to talk honestly about whiteness, gaps in knowledge, their own internalised racism etc without causing harm to individuals from a racially minoritised background.
As with most work of this nature, these groups are not a ‘quick fix’, we are planning to build on the work over the next ten months and further. Emerging feedback has been extremely positive.
Romana Farooq, Richard Thwaites, and Yahya Delair