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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Trust consultant appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission board

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust is proud to announce that one of its leading consultant psychiatrists has been appointed as a Commissioner to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) board.

Professor Swaran Singh, an honorary consultant psychiatrist, is one of six new board members announced by Maria Miller, Minister for Women and Equalities, last week (January 14).

The Commission is an independent body, established under the Equality Act 2006, and as the UK’s expert body on equality and human rights issues and guardian of legal rights. 

Prof Singh, who is also Head of Division, for Mental Health and Wellbeing at University of Warwick and Hub Lead for the Mental Health Research Network at the Heart of England Hub, took up his post on January 14.

He said: “It is an honour and a privilege to have been appointed to this role. Britain has a long tradition of fairness but areas of discrimination and inequality still persist.  President Kennedy famously said that everyone’s rights are diminished if one person’s rights are threatened.

“The EHRC plays a vital role in ensuring fairness for all our citizens and I am delighted to be able to contribute to its vital efforts.”

Dr Peter Lewis, the trust’s medical director, added: “Swaran is in the forefront of research and the national debate on the subject of ethnicity and mental health. He has much to contribute to the work of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and it’s a great achievement that his work is being recognised in this way.”

Maria Miller, Minister for Women and Equalities, said:  “The new board reflects the diversity of modern Britain and will bring the skills and experience needed to provide the Commission with strong governance and direction.

“Having reached agreement on the budget settlement, we now look forward to the new board leading the organisation from strength to strength and becoming a valued and respected national institution.”

The board’s first task will be to agree on the Commission’s business plan for 2013/14. The EHRC has an anticipated budget of £17.1 million, and will be able to access additional programme funds to spend on wider equality and human rights activities.

Baroness Onora O’Neill, new chair of the board, said: "I am greatly looking forward to welcoming new Board members to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Between them they have formidable experience of working for greater equality and inclusion, and for respect for human rights.

“The breadth and depth of the experience that they will bring from their work in very diverse professional, community and business settings across the regions will bring added strength to the Commission."