Headshot of Joe O'Grady

Joe O'Grady

Strategic Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Joe O’Grady began his 38-year career in health and social care as a nursing auxiliary in 1985, completed his training as a registered mental nurse in 1989 and became a drama therapist in 2001. He has undertaken several roles in the NHS and the local authority, where he worked on building social inclusion and access to more bespoke and inclusive mental health services for people from minority ethnic communities, following riots in his hometown of Oldham.

Joe returned to work in the NHS in an equality and human rights capacity in 2008 and has undertaken this role for the past 16 years.  He believes in an empowerment and co-construction model around the equality and human rights agenda, focusing on developing capacity, insight and accountability.  He currently works as Strategic equality, diversity and inclusion lead at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, where he has been since 2021

Joe has been the chair of the north-west NHS E&D Leads Forum for the past nine years and has been a member of the NHS E&D Council working group since 2021, as an EDI representative for the north of England regions.  He is an active member of the NHS Employers Disability Pioneers Supergroup and worked with NHS Employers as part of the LGBTIQ Staff Network research programme. Joe has also supported workshops run by NHS England around the Equality Delivery System (EDS) 2022.

Joe won the national NHS Leadership Academy Award for Inclusive Leadership in 2015 and the national Diversity Champion award for Public Sector in 2017 at the Excellence in Diversity Awards.  Joe is also an assessor for the Cheshire and Merseyside LGBTIQA charter mark programme.