Black History Month

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Black History Month

Black History Month runs throughout October and this year’s theme is ‘Proud to Be…’. Traditionally Black History Month (BHM) is an annual celebration of the contribution that Black African and Caribbean communities have made both locally and across the world.  However, this year we are again using it as an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of all people of colour and coming together in unity 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 Sharon, Head of Nursing Quality and Patient Experience

Sharon Howe, Sharon Howe, Head of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience - Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP)

"Let’s start with a bit about me and my career…I am Black British, of Caribbean descent, originating from Nottingham.

"I have worked in the NHS now for over 38 years. I started my general nurse training at the Derby Royal Infirmary. After qualifying I worked in acute medicine for the elderly at the then City Hospital in Derby, after 6 months I applied to do my mental health training at Lincoln and after my training was completed I worked at St Georges Hospital in Lincoln. During my many years in the NHS, I have worked in Derbyshire, Leicester, Derby and finally Nottingham. My career has progressed along the following path - staff nurse, clinical lead, ward manager, matron and now head of nursing.

"My job role - The Head of Nursing (HoN) is a new role, and this is the first for our directorate, I do hope when I  finally retire that I would have laid some good foundation for the person who replaces me. One thing I have found is that you never stop learning and I embrace that.

"The areas I cover as the HoN are;

  • Patient Safety
  • The effectiveness of all Health Interventions
  • Patient Experience and Involvement
  • Safe Staffing
  • Reducing Restrictive Practices
  • Infection Control and Physical Healthcare

"Why is Black History Month important to me - because it celebrates the contribution that Black men and women have made to this society. Our children are in a better position that when we were growing up because they are seeing that Black people were more than just slaves, but have contributed and achieved so much, and that there is that pride in who we are as black people.

"My son growing up was able to see Barack Obama as the president of the United States of America absolutely inspirational. But also seeing how Black people are influencing society every day in all walks of life.

"Throughout my career I have been inspired by many people, for various reasons.

"I was inspired by my mother who was also a nurse, the strength that she had to achieve all that she did was incredible, and I am so thankful that she passed on that strength to me and my siblings.

"Whilst working in Nottinghamshire Healthcare, I have looked to people such as Sandra Crawford, who started in Adult Mental Health, became the Deputy Divisional Nurse, then the Associate Director of Nursing for Mental Health, finishing her career as the Associate Director of Transformation.

"I admired Sandra as a Black woman for her wisdom, strength and energy, and her passion for just being a nurse.

"My aspirations – I hope I have played a small part in inspiring other Black staff to go forward in achieving their ambitions.

"Throughout my career all I have ever wanted to do, was to do a good job, and to motivate other to do the same. Ensuring that we always give good quality care to those using our service, and that our staff are equipped to do just that. If I am remembered just for that contribution I will be happy."



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