At least half of frontline ethnic minority NHS staff suffered racial harrassment last year, according to an unpublished government report. Consultants Lemos & Crane's work with focus groups in 52 trusts uncovered frequent racial abuse from patients, the public, colleagues and bosses.

A third were victimised by fellow staff, while a quarter suffered from the behaviour of managers. According to the Department of Health, the report will be published following peer review.