[Skip to content]

Change colour Grey on white Black on yellow
Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

‘Look Back – Moving Forward’ Black History Month Event

Published: 30/10/2014

Our Trust, in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), co-hosted a conference as part of Black History Month celebrations, exploring the issues that particularly affect Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) patients, service users and health service staff.

Combining a host of expert presentations, thought-provoking drama performances and a panel discussion, the event attracted around 130 delegates from across the region.

Maxine Brookes, Practice Nurse, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and Beresford Dawkins, Community Engagement Manager, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust opened the event by performing a song ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ by Sam Cooke, which poignantly introduced the underlying theme for the day.

Bruno Daniel, Senior Equality and Diversity Lead

Councillor Paulette Hamilton, Mental Health Champion for Birmingham City Council, referred to her own experiences as a nurse and talked about the gradual process of change and how the positive work we are doing, through addressing these issues, will “help our children and our children’s children to create a legacy.”

The theatrical interludes, by Hearth Drama Company and AFTA Thought Drama Company, evocatively told stories of some of the struggles faced by BME nursing staff, based on real-life stories from the NHS.

Paul Vaughan, Regional Director of RCN talked about the processes needed for change and highlighted the role of Cultural Ambassadors, a regional initiative that was introduced this year to local NHS trusts. Within our Trust they act as a staff support group, using their training to help raise awareness and tackle issues of equality and diversity across the workforce, something which this event was championing.

Judged by the success, we are hoping to hold the event again next year to demonstrate the commitment we have made as a Trust to value the diversity of our workforce and the communities we serve.