Black History Month


Black History Month is a nationwide celebration of Black History, Arts and Culture throughout the UK. In the NHS, 6.1 per cent of staff identify as being of black ethnicity. Black History Month has been recognised for many years with a month-long programme of inspirational events and workshops – honouring the achievements, culture, and rich history of black people.


This year, the restrictions placed by the impact of COVID-19 has meant many organisations will not be holding face-to-face events, but instead will be finding more innovative ways to mark the occasion with virtual meet-ups and online events.

The Partnership will be raising awareness of key individuals who have had an impact on health and social care in the UK and will be hosting a webinar for staff later in the month. Details will be released shortly, but in the meantime, please visit and our social media channels to find out more.

Key facts, figures and information about the NHS workforce

  • 6.1 per cent of staff in the NHS identify as being from a black background
  • 4.6 per cent of the medical workforce and 6.3 per cent of the non-medical workforce in the NHS are from a black background
  • 1.2 per cent of very senior managers working in the NHS are black
  • 3.5 per cent of senior managers (bands 8a-9) and 6.7 per cent (bands 5-7) identify as black
  • 3.5 per cent of senior doctors, 6.2 per cent of junior doctors and 2.06 per cent of other doctors are from black backgrounds

* Figures taken from the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard Report 2019


What we’re doing as part of Black History Month

  • We are raising awareness of Black History Month throughout our organisations. This includes through our newsletters, special staff briefings and other meetings and events
  • The Surrey Heartlands Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) Network are hosting a special Black History Month celebration event for staff and partners at the end of the month
  • We are inviting our staff and partners to send in videos talking about what Black History Month means to them – we will be sharing these soon here
  • We are starting conversations about Black History Month through our social media channels, encouraging others to get involved. Watch a video from from Rita Ofori-Danso, Chair of the Surrey Heartlands BAME Forum here.


Staff Blogs

As part of Black History Month, staff from within Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Partnership and Surrey Heartlands BAME Forum are producing blogs to discuss their work and experiences as part of the Surrey BAME workforce.

View the latest blogs here.


Further information 

  • The official Black History Month UK listing – this website provides information on an extensive range of events taking place across the UK to entertain, inform and inspire.
  • NHS Confederation BME Leadership Network – this network was set up to work on the diversity and inclusion agenda to improve the representation of BME staff and raise their profile.
  • Resources to tackle racism and discrimination – NHS Employers has collated a range of useful resources which can be used to help aid conversations and to implement change.
  • Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) – since 2015 all NHS organisations have been required to demonstrate how they are addressing race equality issues in a range of staffing areas through the WRES.
  • NEAS leaders pledge to act against racism by the book – senior managers across the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) have pledged to raise the profile of race equality in the service and started by launching a book club with around two dozen titles on race and racism.
  • Campaign honours BAME contribution on NHS Birthday – the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) has released a special collage of BAME nurses and midwives working on the frontline during COVID-19 to mark the 72nd birthday of the NHS..
  • NHS Chief Executive pays tribute to essential contribution of Windrush generation – the head of the NHS in England Sir Simon Stevens marked Windrush Day 2020 by committing the NHS to drive further improvements in race equality across the health service.
  • Black nurses and midwives instrumental in helping shape the NHS of today – the Chief Nursing Officer for England has previously shared the amazing achievements and notable milestones of black nurses and midwives over the past 70 years.
  • Time to speak up: some necessary words about racism – Tracie Jolliff, national head of inclusive leadership and system development at NHS England and NHS Improvement provides an overview of the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and what this means for the NHS.