Stepping Up Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leadership programme a great success

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A leadership programme that is empowering black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) health and care staff to embrace leadership roles in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is already proving a huge success.

More than 20 existing and aspiring BAME leaders from across the local health and care system are looking to the future with a renewed zeal after becoming the first group to complete the Staffordshire Stepping Up programme.

Utilising the NHS Leadership Academy’s Stepping Up programme, it is coordinated by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and forms part of the Organisational Development (OD) programme run by the Together We’re Better health and care partnership across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

As well as supporting the participants to further develop their leadership skills, it has also helped them to enhance their skills to assist with career progression.

Feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive, with comments including:

  • “Empowering programme which has made me realise my potential and capabilities; I have learned so much on this programme and I have already recommended it to my other BME peers. The facilitators were so inspiring.”
  • “The programme was a massive eye-opener and really focussed on the issues that BAME individuals face within the NHS.”
  • “This course has been fantastic as it has helped me to be more self-aware. It has also helped me embrace my individuality and increased my confidence in striving for more.”
  • “Best training in my 14 years of being a nurse.”
  • “Thank you Eden, Carol and Ruby for three beautiful days that I will remember forever. It's ignited the fire again in me.”

Participants are able to take advantage of further coaching sessions following the conclusion of the programme to continue their learning, while UHNM staff will be taking part in the trust’s new Talent Management strategy, which involves developing a career development plan with their manager and utilising a range of opportunities, such as work shadowing and mentoring.

The next Staffordshire Stepping Up cohort gets underway in November, with a further cohort taking place in February 2019.

BAME leadership programmes provide a safe space to discuss shared issues and experiences, and to develop confidence and skills to access these roles.

Caroline Donovan, lead for the OD programme, said: “Locally and nationally BAME staff are significantly under-represented in many staff groups, including higher managerial roles. This aims of this programme cannot be underestimated and the impact it is having on the clinical and non-clinical health and care staff who are participating is extremely heart-warming.”

Simon Whitehouse, TWB Director, said: “Well done to everyone who has been involved in this first phase of the Staffordshire Stepping Up programme. The incredibly positive responses from the participants underline just how important this programme is in establishing a fully inclusive health and care system locally.”