NHS trusts celebrate Black History Month

A number of NHS trusts and healthcare services across the UK have been sharing what they’re doing to celebrate Black History Month, and the contributions that Black Britons have made to the health service, this October.

Following the news that the first new sickle cell treatment in 20 years is due to be rolled out by the NHS, the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard team shared a tweet to celebrate Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, who helped to create the first nurse led sickle cell screening centre and became the first sickle cell and thalassaemia specialist nurse in the NHS.

Others shared the achievements of Kofoworola Abeni Pratt, the first Black nurse in the NHS.

Meanwhile, NHS South, Central and West highlighted an important infographic by the NHS Health and Race Observatory, an independent body working to tackle ethnic inequalities, which displayed some of the ethnic health inequalities in the UK. These include Black women in the UK being four times more likely than white women to die in childbirth or pregnancy.

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust highlighted a number of events for staff to get involved in across October, including the NHS Big Conversation on Race, a session by the Royal College of Nursing called ‘Anti-Racism: A Time for Literacy and Transformation’, and the Black History Month Celebration Event for all NHS staff.

The trust is also running its own ‘lunch and learning sessions’ on inclusive communication, speaking up and anti-racism.

The Race Equality Network of Networks also shared the calendar of NHS events in London.

Staff from Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust shared a film about their supportive network.

NHS Croydon Health Services (CHS) also has an extensive calendar of workshops and exhibits, including a film entitled ‘Let’s talk about race: our stories’, a health icons exhibition in the main reception, a panel discussion on 13 October, the launch of a monthly book club, and a quiz night hosted by CHS, Croydon Council, and the Croydon BAME Forum.

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust released a ‘Celebrating Black History Month‘ booklet which remembers notable Black women and men throughout history, with a focus on impacts in nursing, medicine and science, as well as a timeline of key events in Black history.

Away from the NHS as such, the Royal College of Nursing is also hosting a range of events celebrating the contribution of the Black, Asian and minority ethnic nursing workforce, including family history tracing, an audience with the actor and presenter David Harewood on mental health, and the launch of Carol Webley-Brown’s memoirs about her experiences in the NHS from 1979 – 2021.

This is just a snapshot of some of the sessions and events set to take place this month – follow #BlackHistoryMonth on Twitter to find out what else is going on in the medical community and beyond.