The awards form part of the RCN North West’s annual event to celebrate the rich history and contribution of BAME nursing staff across our region and in the NHS and Social Care. This year’s theme is ‘Power, Voice and Influence', celebrating, empowering and embracing the talents of the black, Asian and minority ethnic workforce in health and social care across the North West. This year's event took place online on Thursday 15 October.
This year’s winners work across a range of settings including in hospitals and out in the community, and in clinical and non clinical areas such as governance, general nursing and mental health. They were recognised for a variety of reasons including their commitment to ensure the BAME agenda is heard nationally, raising awareness of mental health in the BAME community, supporting newly recruited nurses from the BAME workforce through the HR process.
Black History Month is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of nursing staff from BAME backgrounds who work in health and social care across the region.
This year's winners are:
Deepak Agnihotri: Deepak works at the Countess of Chester Hospital has been described as having made a huge contribution to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda across Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He represents the trust at national meetings in relation to BAME issues and is a key and influential member of the BAME+ Network Group.
Edna Panambo: Edna is a senior sister in the Accident and Emergency department at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. She has helped to recruit staff from the Philippines and supported them through the HR process. She has created networks with the Philippines and encourages staff to come across the world to enhance the nursing team at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Edna is also an active member of the BAME working group and looks after the staff and their families in the community.
Florance Makurira: Florence is a Senior Mental Health Practitioner and A&E Mental Health Liaison at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. Originally from Zimbabwe, Florence has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of mental health issues in the BAME community.
Busi Ndlovu and Maqsood Bibi: Both Busi and Maqsood are nurses at Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust. In the midst a global pandemic and in an atmosphere of fear and anxiety for BAME staff in particular, both Busi and Maqsood have gone above and beyond to support their colleagues.
Sheila Kasavan: Sheila, from Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised for her creation of a BAME support network for staff across the trust, as well as championing the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda throughout the pandemic.
Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN): Charles Kwoku-Ndoi, Chief Officer, and Faye Bruce, Chair, accepted the award on behalf of CAHN. CAHN works with organisations across Greater Manchester to influence outcomes for the health and well-being of the Caribbean and African Community.
Our final award was the first ever RCN North West BAME Veteran Nurse Contribution Award, presented to Hyacinth Ellis. Now retired, Hyacinth gave over 30 years dedicated service to improve the provision and outcomes of mental health services throughout the communities of Wigan and Leigh.
Congratulating the winners, Estephanie Dunn, Regional Director of the Royal College of Nursing in the North West said: “Our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic nursing community play a vital role in caring for people in our region who need it most. The commitment and professionalism shown by Deepak to promote equality and diversity across his organisation is essential to improving the lived experience of BAME staff. This award celebrates the unique contribution that our BAME nursing community makes across the North West.
“However, we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that there is still a huge amount of work to do to ensure our nursing colleagues from BAME backgrounds have the same opportunities as others. RCN North West is committed to taking a leading role in promoting the voice of the BAME nursing community and challenging employers where poor practice exists.”