BME Network meeting highlights


On Tuesday, 9th February, EEAST’s BME network held their first meeting of 2021.

The meeting was open to and had attendance from some sector heads across the Trust and was led by Co-Chair Tanoh Asamoah-Danso. The meeting began with a short presentation where Tanoh presented the developments made by the network on their 2020 workstream.

The BME network led on the initiative, which aimed to review and identify positive changes towards

  • Recruitment and retention
  • Policies and procedures
  • Training and development

To date the network have been able to facilitate:

  • Introduction of a BME staff forum in one of the trusts most diverse counties
  • Introduction of cultural ambassadors, to act as representation on interview panels and assist with ensuring no cultural bias involved in formal disciplinary hearings
  • Bitesize application and interview sessions led by organisational development
  • EDI training passport for managerial staff
  • Reverse mentoring

For 2021, the chief aim of the network is to actively engage with senior leadership in bringing to their attention the unacceptable racial behaviours while overseeing a timely resolution in ensuring a fair, non-discriminatory culture across the trust.

The meeting had an introduction from Sreeman Andole, Assistant Medical Director and new network sponsor. He mentioned the need for the right tools and processes to be introduced to ensure BME staff to develop and succeed at equal rates as non-white staff.

Jill page, Leadership development and OD manager, introduced new sessions that are now available for the BME network on application writing and interview techniques. There was also an expression on ensuring non-mandatory CPD is available for all staff.

The Network also welcomed Gita Prasad, EEAST’s new Deputy Director of Business and Partnerships. She expressed previous lived and professional experiences of race relations and showed keen interest in working to break down current unacceptable cultures and also assist BME staff in development through mentoring.

Navrita Atwal and Amanda Marsh, who lead on Equality, Diversity and inclusion (EDI), introduced a document outlining the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) indicators, quantifiable actions in line with each indicator and the accountable personnel for each action.

Finally, Stas Chobrzynski, Interim Deputy Director of Workforce, introduced himself to the network and outlined his role within the Trust, which encompasses both wellbeing and EDI. It was outlined that efforts to assist in improving uptake of BME staff taking the COVID-19 vaccine will be continued.

If you are interested in joining the network, or would just like to find out further information, please contact , details of the next meeting will be shared in due course.

Published 24th February 2021