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To: The Rt Hon Boris Johnson, Prime Minister and Rt Hon Mark Drakeford, First Minister

Conduct a rapid review and change of death certification to include a field for ethnicity

There is a pressing need to address the paucity of ethnicity monitoring data in UK. The Coronavirus Pandemic is making health and social inequalities clearly evident and as part of addressing this crisis and moving forward, swift action needs to be taken. Put forth by the We Are One Collective, this petition is rooted in the need for one specific change: the inclusion of a field for ethnicity in the death certification process, and a mandatory requirement for this information to be captured.

Let us be clear: ethnic classification systems have limitations but nevertheless remain meaningful in terms of examining population differences. Ethnicity-disaggregated data is imperative in addressing health and social inequality. It is as much an equality issue as it is a care quality and safeguarding requirement. As a non-devolved issue, the change outlined in this petition cannot happen in Wales unless this issue is devolved, or changed by the UK Government. It needs your support.

Why is this important?

The petition is framed within the following context:
1. The modifications to the death registration process made as part of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (;
2. Written statement by the Welsh Government 21 April 2020 on the subject of COVID19 and Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Communities, presented by Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services (;
3. The rising alarm in the UK (and beyond) on the impact COVID19 is having on minoritised populations, including those living in Wales ( );
4. The significant numbers of people from minoritised backgrounds working in the health (7) and social care sectors ( ;
5. The revelation that some Welsh health boards have a higher representation of employees from BME backgrounds than in the local population, with one example being that in Hywel Dda LHB, 6.8% of the workforce are from BME backgrounds, compared with 2.7% of the local population ( );
6. Calls made by the British Medical Council ( ) and by a specialist medical group in Wales ( to find ways to safeguard NHS staff from BME backgrounds who may be at risk due to a number of recognised (genetic, socio-economic, as well as systemic intersecting oppression) and perhaps unknown reasons; and lastly
7. Current call for an Independent Public Inquiry into the impact of COVID19 on people from BME backgrounds (

The inclusion of an ethnicity category on death certificates such like that which is in place in Scotland is required urgently in Wales and England. Importantly, this change should be a mandatory undertaking and considered a care quality and safeguarding requirement. In keeping with the lessons to be drawn from an analysis of the collecting of ethnicity data on death certificates recently conducted in Scotland ( ), the introduction of an enhanced death registration process will need to be underpinned by training, incentives and ongoing monitoring.

In the future we must be in a position to be able to identity and meaningful use existing national data collections to address health and social inequalities impacting on the lives of people from BME backgrounds. Securing a change in death certification is one important action. Keeping in mind all of those who have sadly died, all those affected by this crisis, and all those campaigning for change in across the UK, we urge all members of the public to sign this petition. There is no geographical restriction on who can sign a petition.

About us:
The ‘We Are One’ Collective: Under the slogan of ‘Pulling together to protect our families, our elders and our futures,’ we are a group of anti-racism activists, concerned citizens, and academics who came together in 2018 to address the Windrush Scandal and its impact on Wales’ Caribbean Commonwealth Elders. Our connections spread across Wales and beyond.



2020-05-11 15:06:25 +0100

Many thanks for signing the petition. I urge you to encourage others to sign it! I want to share an update with you: a link to a research report by colleagues who have published in this area. It is clear that work in this area has taken place. Now is the time for action.

Aspinall, P.J., Jacobson, B., and Polato, G.M. Vital record: the case for including ethnicity on birth and death certificates in England and Wales. London: London Health Observatory, June 2003. 87pp.

2020-04-30 01:34:27 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-04-29 21:28:14 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-04-29 20:05:10 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-04-29 19:34:14 +0100

10 signatures reached