Nursing Times (London), April 21, 2009
Members of the BNP should be banned from being nurses, according to a motion passed at Unison’s Health Care Service Group Conference today.
Delegates voted unanimously in favour of the motion, submitted by the National Nursing Sector, which calls for a law to prevent BNP members becoming nurses.
It also calls for support from the NMC, which states that nurses should not discriminate against patients on the basis of race, but does not ban BNP membership outright.
Proposing the motion, Mick McKeown, nursing sector committee member, said that the racist views of the BNP were incompatible with the public service ethos of nursing.
He said: ‘The main thrust of this motion is to say that membership of the BNP is completely incompatible with public service, particularly as a nurse within the NHS.
‘Despite how they try and portray themselves, the BNP is a nasty, racist, Nazi party.’
He added that the BNP would discriminate against patients on the basis of skin colour if it ran the health service.
‘They say on their website they would like to give nurses a pay rise–but the other thing they say is that the healthcare should be for the white majority. What they say is British healthcare for British people.’
Mr McKeown added that the NHS was founded on immigrant labour and that one of its major strengths has been the diversity of its workforce.
‘The NHS could not have happened without immigration and the contribution of overseas nurses,’ he added.
UNISON will now raise the issue with the Department of Health to establish legal powers barring members of the BNP and other racist groups from being members of Unison.
It will also ask the NMC to support its stance and issue interim advice for nurses on the standards expected of them regarding anti-discriminatory practice.