Nick Hulme, the chief executive of the East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust has described north east Essex as “probably the most homophobic, racist, awful place in some senses to live in the country”.
His comments came at a roundtable event involving NHS executives from around the county, organised by the Health Service Journal.
The meeting called on all health service leaders to challenge communities whose racist and homophobic views often lead to the abuse of NHS staff.
Nick Hulme was scathing about the views held by some in the area his organisation serves.
The Health Service Journal reports he described north east Essex as “probably the most homophobic, racist, awful place in some senses to live in the country”.
He said it was “not by accident” that the town of Clacton-on-Sea in the area had elected a UK Independence Party MP in 2014, and that “the single most important issue in any election for the last six years has always been ‘immigrants’ as they’re described by our local population”.
He added that people in north east Essex “are quite happy to sit around and talk about bloody foreigners and those p**fs that live at the end of the road”.
Turning to the rest of his patch he said: “I’ve not heard the overt racism and homophobia that I’ve heard in Suffolk for probably 30 years.”
Mr Hulme says his trust has “a more diverse workforce than we do a patient group”
He said it was the role of trust chief executives to challenge racist and homophobic abuse, “when we hear it from our staff, but also when we hear it from our patients”.
Mr Hulme joined Ipswich Hospital Trust, a predecessor to East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust, 6 years ago after working in London.
Mr Hulme issued this statement in response to the story