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Staff across the region participate in Ethnic Diversity Workshop

12th April 2024

Ethnic Diversity heading

Just before Easter over 90 staff from the Trusts, education providers and staff side organisations participated in the first Regional Ethnic Diversity Collaborative Workshop hosted by NIPEC on 28 March 2024.

NIPEC Council Chair of the Professional and Business Committee, Nirmala Bhogal opened the workshop by stressing the importance of promoting equality and diversity for staff and enabling equity of opportunity. Katy Rennick, Deputy CNO followed by highlighting the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and Department of Health (DoH) priorities.

The workshop was an opportunity for the Trusts and education providers to showcase initiatives in place or in progress for the ethnically diverse workforces of Nurses, Midwives and AHPs. In a lively session the five NIPEC/Trust Professional Officers reflected on their experiences of hearing and understanding Northern Ireland colloquialisms. Then the five of them- Amanda Malone (SET), Biji Jose (BHSCT), Deepthi Roshan (SHSCT), Jincy Labade (NHSCT) and Jonah Atos (WHSCT) facilitated delegates to share in their native languages the words used for hello, goodbye and thankyou, which the audience practiced saying. This activity was really enjoyed by everyone.

View the presentation from the event (PDF)


Participants were delighted to have Health Minister Robin Swann, address the workshop via video link commenting:

“As our health and social care systems continues to transform, there are a wealth of career opportunities emerging within Nursing, Midwifery and AHP professions, with roles in both specialist and advanced practice and across acute and community services. I want to ensure that all professionals are made aware of those opportunities that exist, and that they can and will apply for them when they present.”

Trusts and Universities have completed a survey about their progress in meeting the recommendations in relation to monitoring and reviewing access to education. The survey update was presented by Cathy McCusker, NIPEC Senior Professional Officer and Project Lead. The survey report will be submitted to CNO.

The five professional officers agreed:

“It has been a privilege to be part of this project and support the improvement in the access to education and leadership opportunities for the ethnically diverse workforce. The culmination of the last four months work resulted in the first Regional Ethnically Diverse Collaborative workshop – all our hard work paid off and the feedback has been very positive. It was so rewarding and heart-warming to see such a diverse range of ethnicities represented at the workshop across Bands 3 to Band 6, who often don’t get the opportunity to attend regional events. This workshop provided opportunities for networking, sharing good practice and learning and blossoming friendships. We are all looking forward to being part of progressing this workplan.”

In the closing remarks, Linda Kelly, NIPEC’s Chief Executive thanked the everyone who had been involved in the day and all who are working in this important area to make progress and commented:

“I am delighted that we have Beena Tharun, Assistant Service Manager, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Cathy Lavery, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Southern Health and Social Care Trust as the co-chairs of the Project Board. They will be taking forward the work based on the outline of the project plan and the stakeholders’ involvement that they presented on today.”


View presentation from the event (PDF)