Celebrating Black History Month

14 October 2020

The Trust is proud to employ more than 6,000 members of staff—one in seven of whom are Black African or Black Caribbean.

The Trust is proud to employ more than 6,000 members of staff—one in seven of whom are Black African or Black Caribbean. While the contributions of our diverse staff base are always a matter of great pride for us, Black History Month allows us to specially focus on the passion, professionalism and contributions—big and small—of Black colleagues from within and outside the organisation. 

Alongside a monthlong campaign of highlighting achievements of Black colleagues and influencers outside the Trust, we have ensured we represent BHM not just on the radio waves and patient cinema, but with food in our hospital restaurants and by various communications sent to all staff which highlight the passion, professionalism and impact of Black people in nursing, medicine and the sciences.

Adelaide Harris (pictured above), a mixed case-loading midwife from Sierra Leone, says: “For me, Black History Month is a time to remember all that has gone wrong before in giving both ordinary and influential Black people the credit they deserve for their contributions. This year, I have been focusing on understanding my complex identity through learning about my family history. Passed on from my mother, I have been told stories of how my grandparents met and married in the UK. My Grandma treated wounded soldiers during her nursing training in the north east of England, before becoming a midwife. My Grandpa, a general surgeon, moved the family from the north of England to London where he was involved in some of the early open heart surgeries at Hammersmith Hospital. They made notable contributions to this country before returning to Sierra Leone just before it became independent.

“I am so proud when I think about the ways my grandparents contributed to healthcare, even before the days of the NHS, and even more so when I hear about the obstacles and challenges that they had to face. Black people within the NHS still have some bridges to cross when it comes to being treated equally but, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that amazing things can happen when we stand in solidarity. This means supporting Black professionals to get into leadership roles and making institutions more accessible and representative of the communities that we serve.”

As a Trust, we are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and we are investing heavily in staff health, wellbeing and support. We wish everyone a happy Black History Month.

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