About us

Diverse hospital workforce celebrated

02 November 2016


As part of October’s Black History Month, the hospital’s Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Diversity Network organised a day of events in the Education Centre to recognise and celebrate its diverse workforce.

The day featured music from keyboardist Tapiwa Mufunda, personal stories by hospital staff including Frank Ajoku, Namdi Ngoka and Miriam Ngwawaira, a selection of stands promoting everything from Black History Archives of Southend Hospital, food stalls, NHS Leadership Academy and many more.

Namdi Ngoka, Associate Director of Human Resources, said: "Over the years, a lot of black people have made a difference to healthcare and the wider economy and this is a chance to recognise it and celebrate what they have achieved. It's not just black people but people of all ethnic minorities and backgrounds.

One of the exhibitors included Paul Deemer, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at NHS Employers, who said: "I think it's important that the NHS is part of the national celebrations.  Today's highlights for me have been listening to individual stories from the likes of black nurses and their good and bad experiences of coming to work and live in this country. I think that's good to hear an open discussion amongst a mixed group of people about some of the issues people face. Not just within the hospital but outside the hospital as well.

One of the speakers who shared her personal story of living and working in the country was Southend Hospital nurse, Miriam Ngwawaira, from Zimbabwe, who said: "To me black history is embracing my strengths as a black person in the health sector especially with helping my patients and achieving the best clinical outcomes.  I gave a talk today about cultural competence - about how to embrace culture and diversity in providing care."

IMAGE (l-r): Paul Deemer, Miriam Ngwawaira and Namdi Ngoka