Black History Month

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Black History Month

Black History Month runs throughout October and this year’s theme is ‘Time for Change: Action Not Words’. Black History Month (BHM) is an annual celebration of the contribution that people of Black African and Caribbean heritage have made both locally, nationally and across the world. We’re using the awareness month as an opportunity to celebrate staff of African Diaspora and to come together against racism, prejudice and injustice.

As part of this, staff from across the organisation have shared blogs about their culture, their achievements, why Black History Month is important to them and who inspires them. You can read them below. More will be added throughout the month. 

Hear from Robert, Trust Head of Quality Surveillance

“About me” I was born on the African island of Mauritius and came to England at a young age when my father received a scholarship to study nursing in the UK. Transition was difficult for me; making new friends, going to a new school, learning a new language and yes, getting used to the cold climate...

Before joining the NHS 23 years ago, I worked in industry for 11 years but always wanted to put what I learned to support public services. I joined the NHS in the late 1990’s and was able to use my skills in project management to run a small team and later to manage both local and regional projects.

“My Job Role” I am the Trust Head of Quality Surveillance. Which entails managing a small team which provides an essential function for the Trust. This enables me and my team to utilise strong analytical processing, analytics and governance intelligence to identify any areas of concerns as well as good practice by understanding themes and trends better regarding data and information.

The Quality Surveillance Teams works closely with other teams and departments to share data, and information in ways which are intended to support insight and improvement. In our teams, data should be collated and used to make judgements, to answer key questions, and to monitor and support improvement within our services. The same data can be used in different ways, depending on what we want to know or learn.

How we look at the data depends on the question we are trying to answer. It is important that every time data is collected, analysed, or shared it should be for the benefit of the people who use our services and decision making and not just for the sake of having lots of data and information.

"Why is Black History Month important to me” I class myself as a black man and my experiences of growing up in this country and the experience of my wife who is from a Caribbean heritage, is clear that the journey has not easy and we both have experienced more than our share of challenges. Therefore, Black History Month (BHM) is a reflective period for our society to embrace its developing, rich culture and celebrate the contribution that Black men and women have made to this British society. Some people may not realise that BHM started over 30 years ago in Britain.

My daughter is now a schoolteacher and hopefully she will be a role model for our future generation both black and white. It celebrates the fact that black role models can help reduce racism and start creating fairness and break barriers… I didn’t have this growing up and resulted in looking for positive black role models on the television, etc (even though there was no Idris Elba).

We have many role models across the waters within the US but we also have role models within the UK we can be proud of and they do not have to be celebrities. So, people like Ignatius Sancho who was a black artist in 1700’s who played a part in the abolition of the slave trade, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor a black classical composer at the Royal College of Music in London in the early 1900’s who’s music is influential across the  world (no we didn’t get taught this at school), and more recent Paul Stephenson a black campaigner for equal rights are important but we need to also celebrate the visibility of black people who influence our lives such as the black manager, healthcare professional, lecturer, teacher, business owner etc, within our community who’s journey may not have been easy either.

“My Aspirations” My aspiration as a leader in the Trust is simple; to play a small part in inspiring other Black staff to go forward in achieving their ambitions.



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