Celebrating Equality & Diversity in the NHS

December 12, 2018

A Race Equality Champion at EPUT has graduated from the Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES) Expert Programme, organised by NHS England.

Sharon Akinkunmi, Chartered Counselling Psychologist and Vice Chair of the Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) network at EPUT, was one of the first graduates from the programme this year.

The WRES Experts Programme aims to equip NHS organisations with in-house expertise to improve workforce race equality.

An event to celebrate the completion of the programme was held in London. Sharon performed a duet of the Mariah Carey song, Hero with Agatha Nortley- Meshe, GP and Assistant Medical Director at London Ambulance Service.

A presentation was given by Sharon Akinkunmi on the subject of “Weathering”, a psychological concept of the impact of race discrimination.

Sharon said:

“I am so pleased to have been part of the WRES Expert programme. This programme has given us the voice that needs to be heard and raised the integral role for us all to take responsibility to tackle race discrimination in the NHS. We are aware of the overwhelming pool of evidence that shows that BAME staff have a poorer experience than white staff in the NHS. However, we also know from research that when we get it ‘right’ for BAME staff in the workforce this leads to increased staff satisfaction, engagement and the delivery of better quality patient care. 

I’d like to also say a big thank you to our CEO Sally Morris, my sponsor on the course Executive Director Malcolm McCann, my colleague Edith Akenkide Chair of the BAME Network at EPUT and Yvonne Coghill Director and the entire WRES team at NHS England for all your support.”

Malcolm McCann, Executive Director of Community Services and Partnerships at EPUT said: “I am very proud of Sharon for completing the Workforce Race Equality Standards Expert Programme. Having an expert in this area within our organisation helps us to focus on making equality and diversity a reality and close the gaps in workforce race inequality at EPUT. This in turn can only be of benefit to the patients that we care for.”