Shahnaz has over 20 years of experience of working in both statutory and voluntary sectors at local, regional and national levels in the North and South of England achieving a track record of formulating and implementing policies/strategies which have ensured performance through inclusion. As a result she has gained a national reputation for being an experienced professional with excellent leadership skills in the field of health, diversity and inclusion. She also has a Masters Degree in Health and Social Policy, which has enabled her to put her experience of developing policy, strategy and organisational development into an academic framework. Shahnaz also completed the Kings Fund Top Manager Training Programme in 1999. Since 2007, Shahnaz has been the Director for Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights at NHS North West.
During her two and a half years at NHS North West Shahnaz has taken regional E&D strategy from a zero base to deliver a succession of ground-breaking initiatives delivering tangible equality policy and delivery outcomes across 63 Primary, Acute and Specialist Trusts, which collectively employ a workforce of 220,000 people. Her next step was to pioneer the implementation of an outcome-focused Equality Performance Improvement Toolkit (EPIT), which has established a verified evidential baseline for the entire region’s performance on E&D outcomes. EPIT has established a detailed and consistent baseline for E&D performance and requires every organisation to now tackle the identified gaps. The process has also identified notable best practice in the region. Having gained regional success Shahnaz was keen to ensure that the whole of the NHS be achieving similar results therefore over the last few months Shahnaz has worked closely with the DH to further develop NHS NW approach and particularly EPIT into the first ever NHS Equalities Framework which has been endorsed by the Equality Diversity Council and is currently out for consultation.
Throughout her career Shahnaz believes that her strengths are in policy envisioning and strategy formulation for organisational development and change management through negotiating and influencing key stakeholders to successfully deliver. The hallmark of this approach of “Strategy to Delivery Cycle” has been successfully applied in various areas. Shahnaz attributes part of her success to the wide grounding she has within the NHS management system.