The trade union representing doctors has responded to a major study of almost 10,000 staff at Oxfordshire's hospitals, which found black and Asian workers have been twice as likely to get the coronavirus as their white colleagues.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, British Medical Association council chair said: “This study provides important information on the likelihood of becoming infected with Covid-19 infection for different categories of hospital staff.

Read our full story on the findings here

“While we already know people from BAME backgrounds are more likely to suffer serious illness and death from Covid-19, this study shows BAME NHS staff are significantly more likely to become infected than their white colleagues in the first place, with black and Asian hospital workers twice as likely to become infected as white staff.

“These results beg questions as to why certain ethnic groups were more likely to become infected and whether this was related to greater exposure to the virus or lesser access to personal protective equipment.

“The study also highlights the work areas where staff may be more at risk, with those working in acute medicine more than twice as likely to become infected than other departments."

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He added: “This study calls on NHS trusts to ensure all staff are protected from disproportionate risk, by ensuring safe working environments with meticulous infection control and provision of PPE, as well as the need to ensure all staff are being risk assessed to identify individual factors that may put them at greater risk from the infection.

“This level of analysis adds important evidence that the impact of this virus is not evenly distributed among NHS staff and action must be taken to properly protect and mitigate the risks – something the BMA has long called for."

Dr Nagpaul urged Public Health England to 'reflect on' the findings and use them inform guidance on PPE for healthcare workers.