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Windrush leadership programme is a ‘step in the right direction’ for minority nurses

Windrush leadership programme is a ‘step in the right direction’ for minority nurses

The application deadline for the ‘largest training course ever funded’ by Health Education England (HEE) is rapidly approaching as the Windrush Nurses and Midwives Leadership Programme prepares to launch.

Partnering with the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF), HEE is offering a tailored leadership development programmes for NHS nurses and midwives who are either part of the Windrush generation or who are from ethnic minority backgrounds. Applications for the programme close on 20 January.

The aim of the programme is to give candidates more self-awareness, an improved sense of equal treatment, and to prepare them to go on to lead with a greater ‘leadership-presence’. The teaching will consist of blended face-to-face and virtual sessions, to conclude with a celebration session in London.

Marion Gerald Mangalindan, deputy charge nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and FNF said that he applied for the programme ‘because I wanted to expand my skills and start my leadership development journey’.

‘Every session of the programme was meaningful and left a mark in my heart as a nurse and aspiring leader. As an aspiring nurse leader, I found the session on leadership energies helped built my self-awareness in relation to my authority, presence and impact are vital in leadership.’

However, Ruth Oshikanlu, Queen’s Nurse, parenting coach, health visitor and midwife, said that while the programme was ‘obviously a step in the right direction’ she also warned that more needed to be done to support minority ethnic nurses and nurses from the Windrush generation.

‘It’s good to have a programme of support for nurses and midwives from diverse backgrounds, but until they change the core culture [of the NHS] that is still structurally racist, you’re practically setting these nurses up to fail.

‘These nurses are being supported to grow with leadership programmes, but have to return to their managers and teams in the workplace who often are not as supportive; they are practically being thrown back into the thorns and expecting them to grow there. How can that be right if you’re not changing the system at the same time?’

Ms Oshikanlu, who is also an FNF scholar, and has spent the last two years coaching black and brown health and social care staff, said that she was concerned the programme would be like a ‘plaster on a broken arm’, unless more was done to tackle the culture of racism that exists within the nursing profession and the wider health and social care system.

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