Congratulations to this year’s winners of The National BAME Health & Care Awards 2022, who were cheered on and celebrated by their peers at a special event hosted at the Royal College of Physicians in London on June 9.
Now in its third year, the National BAME Health and Care Awards 2022 champions the UK’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic health and care professionals making an impact on their communities, especially as the sector continues to face challenges brought on by the pandemic.
More than ever, these awards highlight role models, leaders and mentors to the younger generation and encourage them to enter a profession in the sector. In addition, they recognise the rich contribution of people from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to healthcare, who leave a legacy of excellent patient care.
Encourage them to continue
The ceremony was organised by DiversityQ and Colourful Healthcare. Commenting on the awards, Cheryl Cole, Editor of DiversityQ, said: “These awards make sense, especially when many reports reveal the difficulties and frustrations that remain among BAME staff due to lack of representation at senior levels in health and care; plus other issues that reinforce the sense of marginalisation. This initiative was an opportunity to encourage BAME staff to continue their excellent work, even through adversity.”
The in-person awards, sponsored by BAPIO, the NMC and Unison, were this year hosted by their founder, Wendy Olayiwola, by Professor Patrick Vernon OBE and Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE.
Founder Wendy Olayiwola said: “In the fight against this pandemic, disruption and the mammoth pressures that resulted, BAME health and social care staff have performed heroically well and sacrificed themselves for this great nation. I salute you all, and I say THANK YOU.
“BAME staff contribute immensely to the development and sustainability of British health and social care.
“These annual awards aim not only to celebrate and encourage the outstanding work done by and for BAME colleagues and users of health and care services but to host and promote a support network and foundation for future progression and acknowledgement.”
Eighteen individuals were recognised during the evening of The National BAME Health and Care Award for their outstanding leadership, change-making or initiative. After the event, the winners will have access to ongoing peer support and a professional development programme to encourage them to move into key leadership roles in health and care.
The winners were delighted to receive their awards; this victory highlighted their commitment and hard work.
After receiving her award, Dr Nida Suri, who won Emergency and Critical Healthcare Professional of the Year, was full of emotion. She thanked her teams and shared her gratitude: “This award is incredible. My team nominated me. It means a lot because it means that my team appreciates me. I won it, but I won it for my team. I can’t do anything without them; they are the best, and I love them.”
Jennifer Pearson, who won the BAME Nurse of the Year, was also very emotional and shared an inspiring message about the reality of the job and the importance of the National BAME Health and Care Awards ceremony.
“Tonight was a celebration of hard work, dedication, passion, drive and tenacity. I just wanted to thank all the people who have given me the support and the space to do what I do. They are a great team who have supported and allowed me to do what I felt was needed for our community.
“The work has benefited us all, as well as increased the number of vaccines, confidence and knowledge in the community. There is so much to do, but I am so proud. The win was unexpected. I feel overwhelmed, blessed, and moved, and I can’t believe it.”
She added: “I pray that things change for the better – the inequalities, the progression gaps and the long oppression. We absolutely need to see representation because it makes a difference in the outcomes and the passion of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority staff – because what they see is what they will do.”
“My advice to any young nurse is to get the support you need. Please don’t give up; this job can take you around the world; it is so empowering and makes an absolute difference to human beings. If you care about people, it’s hard work, it’s not well paid, but you don’t die with money. If you’ve made a difference by being for a human being, that’s the most important thing.”
Shumel Rahman, one of the biggest stars of the evening, won three awards, including two with his teams from the Northeast Ambulance Service. He explained why this recognition was important to all the care workers who do such a great job: “It’s an amazing night for everyone because everyone here works so hard and is dedicated to diversity, equality and inclusion.
“Sometimes when you work hard, it’s a battle, you’re down, and it’s hard to do it with integrity… But when you come to an evening like this, it’s inspiring and empowers you to keep going.”
Sherifat Muhammad-Kamal, who won Outstanding Contribution to Social Care of the year, was very surprised by her victory and talked about the impact this would have on her children: “It was unexpected, I’m so happy, I can’t wait to share it with my kids. Sometimes when you do things voluntarily, you can’t imagine that you can make noise, but when this comes, it’s just a surprise to me. It was an amazing night.”
And the winners of the National BAME Health & Care Awards 2022 are:
- Community Initiative of the Year: Community Development Outreach Team – Hywel Dda University Health Board Wales and Positive Action Project – Northeast Ambulance Service NHS Trust
- Compassionate and Inclusive Leader of the Year: Marsha Jones – Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Clinical Champion of the Year: Shumel Rahman – Northeast Ambulance Service
- Digital Champion of the Year: Engagement Diversity and Inclusion Team – North East Ambulance Service
- Ground-breaking Researcher of the Year: Benash Nazmeen – Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
- Health and Wellbeing Advocate of the Year: Ugonna Chukwumaife – NHS & Rehoboth for Families
- Emergency and Critical Healthcare Professional of the Year: Dr Nida Suri – West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- The Mental Health Initiative of the Year: Dr Akhtar Khan – Hywel Dda University Health Board, Wales
- Inspiring Diversity and Inclusion Lead of the Year: Sam Ogunkoya – East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT)
- Workforce Innovator of the Year: Bisi Soledolu – The Shuri Network and Na’eem Ahmed – ChelWest NHS Trust
- Outstanding Contribution to Social Care: Sherifat Muhammad-Kamal – Muslimah Education Centre
- Outstanding Technology Contribution of the Year: Maaha Suleiman – Care Matched
- Outstanding Corporate Achievement of the Year: Jennifer Pearson, Miriam Coffie and Tom Warner – University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, NHS England & NHS Improvement Midlands and Cheryl Samuels – NHS England and NHS Improvement
- Outstanding Achievement of the Year: See ME First Team – Whittington Health NHS Trust
- BAME Midwife of the Year Sponsored by the Nursing and Midwifery Council: Rukeya Miah – Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust | Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust
- BAME Nurse of the Year: Jennifer Pearson – University Hospitals Birmingham