This month sees the celebration of Black History Month and an opportunity for us all to reflect on the contribution of Black staff, past, present and future to the NHS. To give thanks to the Windrush generation of nurses who came over from the Caribbean to establish a post-war NHS and also for the scientists, mathematicians, writers and leaders whose action and ideas helped shape the modern world. The diversity of staff working in the NHS is a great asset and something which makes the NHS strong.
Black History Month (BHM) is held each year in October, with a programme that promotes the history and contribution that African and Caribbean communities have made to the UK, helping to understand the present through our past. This national celebration aims to promote and celebrate Black contributions to British society, and to foster a better understanding of Black history in general.
NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is keen to support this celebration and welcomes the opportunity to shine a light on the diversity of our workforce. We commission services to meet the needs of all our communities and we are also supporting Black staff and patients throughout the current coronavirus pandemic, by working with our partners to promote better communications and engagement for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, and also as a member of the Minorities Partnership Board. The CCG is currently helping to facilitate a BAME Network for CCG staff across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and is looking at how we can support our BAME staff in primary care.
The global Black Lives Matter movement and anti-colonialist protests over the summer demonstrated there is still a long way to go to combat racism and fully appreciate and understand the modern-day impact of slavery and colonialism. The NHS supports diversity, inclusion and is against all forms of discrimination.
The Black History Month website has lots of useful resources including sections on:
- Great Black Britons
- Interviews Videos and Books
- Listings of national events to celebrate 2020 Black History Month and much, much more.
Nationally, the NHS will mark the month in three distinct ways:
- Profile and shine a light on BAME NHS staff at every level
- Highlight the work that’s taking place across the country to address health inequalities, including local BAME networks and the individual contributions of staff
- Showcase the diversity of both roles and workforce
- Inspire others to consider a career in the NHS
- Acknowledge some of the events that have taken place this year, including Black Lives Matter, as well as historical contributions of prolific healthcare leaders and events
- Remember the loss and sacrifice of staff during COVID-19