Cllr Dr Zahid Chauhan OBE
Cllr Dr Zahid Chauhan OBE

OLDHAM GP and councillor Dr Zahid Chauhan is one of the co-creators of the country’s first ethnic origin coronavirus risk register .

Dr Chauhan and other medics have launched the register to help prevent colleagues from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities dying from Covid-19.

And they created the listing in memory of a Bury GP who passed away as a result of the virus.

The Safety Assessment and Decision (SAAD) scorecard places the roles of NHS clinical and non-clinical staff into high, medium and low risk categories.

The scorecard is named in honour of former Holcombe Brook GP Dr Saad Al-Dubbaisi, who died from coronavirus on May 3.

Dr Al-Dubbaisi was an experienced GP from Garden City Medical Centre, who cared for generations of the same families from his practice for many years

The scorecard uniquely asks respondents whether they are from BAME communities and “weights” scores accordingly.

Those tasks are scored against age, gender and if the respondent is classed as obese or pregnant or has pre-existing health conditions.

Given that there is “evolving evidence” that it plays a part in managing Covid-19, Vitamin D deficiencies are also catalogued.

Dr Chauhan, who is Oldham Council’s cabinet member for health and social care, said: “Once completed, the idea is that both employee and manager then reflect on the tasks being done and whether the danger is acceptable and manageable.

“If undertaking that role puts the employee at unacceptable risk, the manager will be asked what is being done to mitigate it and the employee even prevented from carrying it out.”

Government and health campaigners agree that a dearth of death information from the coronavirus could lead to more mortalities now and in the future – with underlying conditions, lifestyle and genetic make-up particularly important factors.

Dr Mohammed Jiva, a GP and chief executive of the Rochdale and Bury Local Medical Committee, added: “Until such time as proper data is sourced, the scorecard is a simple, effective way of measuring and reducing risk within clinical and non-clinical settings.

“It is guidance to initiate a risk assessment within the practice and based on the individual’s circumstances.

“I also believe it is a fitting tribute to a colleague who spent his entire professional career in the pursuit of caring for others and preserving life.”

The scorecard has been devised by a group of Greater Manchester GPs some of whom have suffered and recovered from a Covid-19 infection, while others have expressed concern related to disproportional deaths in the BAME community.

Dr Chauhan, the founder of the Homeless-Friendly healthcare scheme, added: “It is my belief that a cultural commitment to heal has motivated many people from BAME backgrounds to become front-line staff.

“The scorecard will show whether this is true and also gives staff the opportunity to discuss with management whether there are equally important roles they can fulfil that do not always require them putting their lives on the line, all of the time.”

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