Breaking down the barriers for staff from ethnic minorities

A STOP smoking specialist has praised a new leadership course targeted towards helping break down barriers for health staff from ethnic minorities.

Rafeed Rashid, specialist stop smoking advisor at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, has completed the Stepping Up Programme.

This is a special course run by the NHS Leadership Academy for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) colleagues who work in healthcare.

It aims to create greater levels of sustainable inclusion within the NHS by addressing the social, organisational and psychological barriers restricting BAME colleagues from progressing.

Raf, who is the stop smoking lead for Stockton, said: “The programme is there to encourage and give confidence to people like myself on our leadership journeys.

“It is designed to bridge the gap between where applicants are and where they need to be, to help them progress into more senior roles. It aims to empower us drive forward the inclusion agenda and develop their skills and abilities in order to grow and progress.

“It’s very reflective – we were challenged to think about any potential barriers and stereotypes out there and to realise that there shouldn’t be a glass ceiling for anyone.

“The course also gave me the opportunity to meet people from many different cultures and from across healthcare. These are contacts that will stay with me on my career path.”

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