TESTING of BAME staff at Bradford's hospitals is bucking the national trend with one chief nurse affirming that there's 'no excuses' for low figures.

It follows reports last week that more than a quarter of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) NHS staff are still waiting for a risk assessment for Covid-19, data suggests.

Figures seen by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) suggest 73 per cent of BAME staff had had a risk assessment in England by July 17, but in some hospital trusts the figure was just 20 per cent.

Chief nurse Karen Dawber responded to the report on Twitter by saying 'Not on our watch - we prioritised and every BAME member of staff, where practical, has had a risk assessment completed - our staff safety and well-being is paramount. #noexcuses."

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT) confirmed it has carried out 100 per cent of risk assessments for BAME staff.

In a statement for the Telegraph & Argus, the chief nurse said: “Keeping our staff safe is a priority for us and all our staff have had the opportunity to undertake a risk assessment. We have prioritised those staff who are most at risk and, as a result, we have now completed risk assessments with 100 per cent of our BAME staff.”

Meanwhile Airedale NHS Foundation Trust reported it had carried out 97 per cent of risk assessments on BAME colleagues as well as 95 per cent of staff in vulnerable at risk groups.

This could include those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, males and those in the over 60s age bracket.

The latest figures saw a jump from 70 per cent of BAME staff being assessed after an internal deadline on July 31.

A spokesperson for Airedale said: "We are aiming to achieve 100%. We’ve also broadened the scope of our risk assessments to include other potentially at risk groups such as those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, males and those in the over 60s age bracket."

The trust also said it has asked any staff members who would appreciate a risk assessment to come forward.

Figures from NHS England showed that BAME people accounted for 16 per cent of all hospital deaths in England up to 21 April, with those of an Indian heritage being the worst-affected.

Following the latter, healthcare leaders were urged by NHS England to “risk-assess” staff who may be at a greater risk of covid-19, including those from black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds, and make “appropriate arrangements”.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals Trust held a zoom call for more than 100 staff of BAME backgrounds when national evidence first began to suggest people from these backgrounds are disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 virus.

At the time, the trust told the Telegraph & Argus: "We are prioritising risk assessments for clinical and non-clinical BAME staff who work in patient-facing areas in our hospitals.”

"There was a very productive conversation."