Nurse received email saying ‘another Nigerian’ when she applied for job

Photo by Ogunyemi Taiwo

A Nigerian nurse who caught COVID while working for the NHS was sent a derogatory comment when she applied for another job in the health service. The unnamed medic, who her daughter says worked throughout the pandemic, went for a new role in the Midlands over email. But someone involved in the recruitment process sent back a reply from the GP practice in the Coventry and Rugby area which read: ‘Another one but again Nigerian’, in what appears to have been an attempt to forward the message on to another person. The exchange sparked outrage and concern on social media, with two local health organizations condemning the email and publicly apologizing.

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Twitter user sxde posted pictures of the conversation on Twitter, explaining: ‘My mum has just worked as nurse throughout the pandemic, a year after qualifying. Got COVID at work. She recovered (we thank God) and went back to work. She’s now decided to apply for a new role in a different setting and this is what was sent to her by the recruiter. ‘I believe this was clearly not intended for us to see, but it confirmed what is being said behind the scenes. This is unprofessional, prejudice and incredibly discriminatory language which is against the NHS and Nursing code of conduct.’

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Her mother applies for a GP practical nurse role over email and includes what appears to be a CV in the message. Then someone from an NHS body, whose signature includes the title ‘practice nurse’, appears to attempt to forward the email, but instead replies to the applicant, writing ‘Another one but again Nigerian’.

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Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust branded the message ‘truly distressing’ and said it had raised the concerns. It tweeted: ‘This is a truly distressing message and we are sorry that something like this has been shared with your mother.  Be assured this is not our organization and it does not reflect the values we hold dear. We’ve raised with the right organization asking they contact you immediately.’ The NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which was made aware of the original tweet on Saturday, added: ‘We’ve just been alerted to your tweet and we are shocked by the message your mother received it does not reflect our values or those of the NHS.

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