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Black Nurses: The Women Who Saved the NHS

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Review

We’re all familiar with those images of Caribbean men arriving in Britain on the Windrush in the late 1940s. But thousands of young women from the Caribbean and Africa also chose to come here to work in the fledgeling NHS, which desperately needed their help. First impressions weren’t good: “I thought it was the ugliest, the darkest, most dismal place I’d ever seen,” recalls one, and many endured discrimination and abuse, from patients, and from a system that funnelled them into less fulfilling roles.

There were positives: many progressed into midwifery, which gave them autonomy; and they formed strong bonds with each other. This film makes you pleased to get to know these splendid characters, yet appalled at what they had to go through.

Summary

The story of the thousands of Caribbean and African women who answered the call 70 years ago to come to the UK and help build the National Health Service. Told by the women themselves, the documentary reveals the price they paid in leaving behind their families, and examines their struggle to overcome racism and their fight for career progression, as well as their cultural impact here and abroad.

Cast & Crew

Director Victor Chimara
Executive Producer Paul Blake
Producer Victor Chimara

Documentary

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