Black History Month 2023

This month at Primary Care Sheffield we are raising awareness of Black History Month which is a celebration of black history, culture and pride dedicated to honouring the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history, as well as embracing the strength and unity found in our vibrant community.

In the UK, the month of October is put aside to recognise and celebrate the contributions and the achievements of the black community and learn about black historical and contemporary figures who contribute to Britain.

Black History Month further aims to highlight the pride and struggles of people of black origin and other persons of colour from African and Caribbean backgrounds.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Black History Month and together with the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush in 1947 bringing 492 passengers from the Caribbean makes this year a particular important one for the acknowledgement and commemoration of Black history in the UK.

Black History Month provides an opportunity for leaders to declare that the NHS will not stand for racism going forward. Racism, inequality, injustice within the NHS must be treated as a never-event, not par for the course.

Tackling Racism and Taking Action on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

  • Our People Plan committed to establishing EDI champions at Primary Care Sheffield and working towards benchmarking our approach to EDI so that we can improve. Our EDI champions have been in place since April this year and have said they aim to, “help eradicate prejudice and discrimination based on an individual or group of individuals’ protected characteristics. Our main aim is to start open discussions about diversity and inclusion, help educate and signpost colleagues on diversity and the effects of discrimination and help PCS adapt to ensure everyone has the facilities to be comfortable at work.” You can contact them directly at pcs.edi@nhs.net  
  • The NHS England Equality, Diversity and Inclusion plan seeks to tackle these issues with high impact actions two and six:
    • High impact two requires NHS organisations to embed fair and inclusive recruitment processes and talent management strategies that target under-representation and lack of diversity. 
    • High impact action six requires organisations to create an environment that eliminates the conditions in which bullying, discrimination, harassment and physical violence at work occur. To do this, organisations will be required to review data by protected characteristic, including BME and gender, and set reduction targets by March 2024 and implement a plan to improve the staff experience of these groups. 
  • The combatting racial discrimination against nurses, midwives and nursing associates resource, published by NHS England, NHS Confederation and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, provides advice on the action you can take if you witness or experience racism. It also supports those in leadership roles to be inclusive leaders.

Useful Resources and Further Information.

  • Visit the official Black History Month website to find out what else is happening during the month.
  • Race Equality Matters have shared a wealth of short videos on why the theme ‘Saluting our Sisters’ is so important. There is also a downloadable resource containing 78 ideas and insights for Black History Month activities
  • Shattered Hopes – The NHS Confederation’s report into black and minority ethnic leaders’ experiences of breaking the glass ceiling in the NHS. It shares reflections on the lived experience of senior black and minority ethnic leaders in the NHS.
  • The NHS Race and Health Observatory (RHO), which is hosted by the NHS Confederation and supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement, has been set up to investigate the impact of race and ethnicity on people’s health.