Celebrating Black History Month in south-east London

To celebrate Black History Month (BHM), NHS South East London CCG is raising awareness of the contributions and history of African and Caribbean NHS staff in south-east London and its residents.

The CCG’s Beyond BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) staff group is encouraging its colleagues to learn more about BHM by sharing case studies about their work/life experiences and how the CCG’s work to improve equalities will help to close the inequalities gap.

The CCG’s Strategic Commissioning Lead for Learning Disability and Autism and Co-Chair of Beyond BAME, Carol-Ann Murray said: “Black History Month is an opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate the accomplishments of black Britons in every area of endeavour throughout history, helping to understand the present through the past.

For our Beyond BAME staff group this year, given the events of 2020, is significant in us being able to support and maintain a sustainable organisational culture within the CCG; that values equity across all staff, safeguards universal inclusion and as a result impacts the wider community which we serve.

A commitment to addressing inequalities

This summer, the CCG made a commitment to take action to address inequalities by implementing a plan with 10 specific and measureable actions. The plan – coproduced with staff– includes a range of measures, from investing in diversity support for recruitment, implementing a monthly race equalities staff forum, increasing staff training and development, to creating a buddying system across its governing body and improving data disclosure so that the CCG can identify issues and measure progress.

NHS South East London CCG’s Chief Operating Officer and Equalities SRO, Christina Windle said: “As a new organisation we made a firm commitment early-on to address the inequalities that we know to exist across the NHS workforce. Covid-19 highlighted the disproportionate mortality and morbidity levels amongst black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people, including NHS staff. We are determined to do all we can to change this.

Engagement with staff and the creation of staff networks and champion groups is being prioritised and strengthened so that we can learn from lived experiences and identify more easily the actions we need to take and the support we need to put in place.

Black History Month is an opportunity for our staff to learn more about the contributions of Black people to British society, particularly within the NHS, as well as the experiences of the south-east London residents on whose behalf we commission services.

The CCG has an equalities committee, which reports directly into the Governing Body (the CCG’s decision-making board). Updates from the equalities committee are shared via Governing Body meetings held in public. Find out more about these updates here.