Black History Month


25 / 9 / 2014 2.11pm

Black History Month is an opportunity to honour the achievements, culture and contribution black people have made to our society. Every year, many NHS organisations celebrate Black History Month by hosting inspirational events in their workplace. In addition to pulling together some key facts and figures as well as details of events that are being held, we are also bringing you BME Pioneers (see below for more details).  

Key facts, figures and information 

  • The black population forms around 3.3% of the UK's population in 2011 (Source: Ethnicity and National Identity in England and Wales 2011, Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2 February 2013).
  • 5% of the NHS workforce are from a Black ethnic background (Health and Social Care Information Centre, Oct 2013 monthly provisional statistics).
  • 2% of medical and dental staff within the NHS, 2% of other medical and dental staff,3% of consultants and 3% of doctors in training are black (2013 Workforce census, September 2013).
  • If you're African or African Caribbean and you live in the UK, you're more likely than people from other cultures to have certain health conditions, including high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes and prostate cancer.

What's happening in the NHS during Black history month?

  • BME pioneers - NHS Employers is working with the HSJ and the NHS Leadership Academy to celebrate the outstanding contributions professionals from black and minority ethnic backgrounds have made to healthcare. Unfortunately nominations are now closed, but you will be able to view the full array of pioneers in the November edition of the HSJ.
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust - Will be holding an event on 26 October based on the trust’s commemorations, ‘Everyone’s a Leader’, reflecting the leadership abilities that all individuals possess through skills, knowledge and experience. 
  • Royal College of Nursing and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust to celebrate Black History Month are co-hosting a free conference on 28 October. The event will focus on the issues affecting BME patients, service users and nursing staff so it is open to all, no matter what your field of practice, grade or background. 
  • Chief nursing officer’s black and minority ethnic conference 2014 -  On 10 October, North Middlesex University Hospital are inviting nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to share the successes of BME NHS staff and promote progression to leadership roles in the NHS. Jane Cummings and Lord Victor Adebowale, CBE will also be speaking at the celebratory event at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
  • Royal College of Nursing’s annual Black History Month evening reception  - The event will take place on 20 October, from 5.30 - 7.30 pm and will celebrate the continuing contribution of black and minority ethnic nurses to the art and science of nursing.  Dr. David Williams from Harvard University, an expert on race and health issues will be talking about resilience and finding ways to thrive in difficult times. To find out more and to book your free place email 
  • Black History Month seminar -  On the 21 October the NHS Leadership Academy will holding a seminar to celebrate Black History Month. Key speakers will include clinicians, academics and key leaders from across the NHS, including Simon Stevens, CEO NHS England. To register and for more details email

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