Birmingham recently welcomed hundreds of NHS staff from all over the country, for the seventh annual Chief Nursing Officer’s (CNO) Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Advisory Group’s conference.
Hosted by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, the conference looked at the positive impact of change, the Workforce Race Equality Strategy and how to initiate conversations regarding inclusive and diverse leadership.
Over 200 delegates attended and Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, provided the keynote speech, including the importance of flexing care for individual patients. Chair of the CNO BME Advisory Group, Joan Myers OBE, gave an update on the work of the Group and Roger Kline from Middlesex University talked about the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES). The panel question and answer session asked how we can make valuing diversity and embracing change a lived experience for BME patients and staff.
Sue Crossfield, lead nurse for bereavement at the Trust, teamed up with Zafar Dad, from the Muslim community, to talk about the work they have been doing together to improve end of life care, including a short film, ‘I didn’t know that’, to help understand Muslim traditions related to dying and death. Other Trust staff involved on the day included trauma and orthopaedics matron Bev Baker, who spoke about how to be a successful ward leader and Theresa Harris, faculty educator, who received a standing ovation as she has just celebrated 51 years in the NHS.
Claire Whittle, acting head of education, was involved in organising the conference and commented: “Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust was delighted to host this conference looking at ‘Valuing Diversity – Embracing Change’ and we heard from some truly inspirational speakers who have motivated us all to champion matters affecting BME service users, communities and staff. I’d like to say thanks and congratulations to my colleagues and everyone who was involved to help make it a tremendous success.”