Success stories will be shared by members of Walsall Healthcare’s BAME Shared Decision Making Council when they host a stand tomorrow (Thursday 10 February) as part of Race Equality Week.
Staff will be near Costa Coffee in the Manor Hospital between 11.45pm and 12.45pm to raise awareness of the group’s work and encourage new members.
The council was set up in June 2020 and its Chair is Matron Joan Dyer and Vice Chair is Senior Sister Angela Cope.
Joan said: “In November 2020 just 43% of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues had had the vaccine; reflective of the situation in the Black Country at that time where there was a 45% take up rate among these communities.
“We worked with colleagues across our organisation, including pharmacy and gynaecology, to talk to staff round the clock to understand their fears and ensure they were equipped with accurate information from healthcare professionals so they could make an informed choice about vaccination.”
Angela said: “It was also important to lead by example and be honest with each other. I had been hesitant initially, as had others, and we shared our experiences through the council.
“By the end of March 2021 our take up rate was 75% and we are very proud that we were able to support people to protect themselves against this deadly virus.”
The BAME Council has also worked with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s charity Well Wishers to set up a buddying scheme for international nurses to welcome them to the Manor Hospital and support them.
Joan added: “We want staff to pop along to our stand and find out about the work we’re involved in as well as consider joining the council as it’s so important we have a voice and empower each other to make positive changes.”