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How staff from all backgrounds can work together

Category: BAME, BAME Inclusion, health sector, NHS, Health, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, BAME Diversity, BAME Network


Director of Clinical Information Management, Jeff Boateng, who is the Network for Change’s Executive Sponsor  spoke about the importance of everyone in the Trust working collaboratively and supporting each other.

He said: We need to ensure that we are challenging racism at every level. It’s also about holding each others’ hands to pull them along, about learning from one another. That’s how we can all progress collectively.”

There was a full programme throughout the day which included:

  • Inspiring keynote speeches from Dr Navina Evans, Chief Executive of East London Foundation Trust and Acosia Nyanin, Chief Nurse at Sussex Partnership Trust.
  • Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Aggrey Burke who gave a presentation that looked at how Adverse Childhood Experiences affected delinquency and mental health.
  • Political poet PJ Samuels, of the Nubian User Forum, shared poetry and reflections about her own identity of being a black, lesbian woman with mental health issues
  • The conference moderator, Non-Executive Director Dal Babu and former Met Police Harrow Borough Commander, sat alongside ex-gang member and founder of Hackney Wick Football Club Bobby Kasanga and C&I Clinical Psychologist Dr Richard Grove who leads the Trust’s gangs project, to form a panel which spoke about gangs, youth violence and the police.

Network for Change co-chair Naomi Williams said she was passionate about ensuring that working conditions were improved for people from BME backgrounds, and that they were able to progress to the most senior roles.

She said last year’s staff survey results showed that 44.4 per cent of BME staff experienced at least one incident of bullying and harassment or abuse, compared with 36.9 per cent of white staff; 78 per cent of staff said they had experienced discrimination because of their ethnicity, compared with 36.7 per cent of white staff, and highlighted that those figures are simply unacceptable.

Naomi said: “It was an uplifting day with empowering speakers. Discussions unearthed a number of issues, as well as opportunities, and as a Network we will be working with colleagues across the Trust, key stakeholders and within the community to start doing things a bit differently”.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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