BME Leadership Network

NHS Confederation BME Network Logo

This new network was set up by the NHS Confederation in March 2019. It meets quarterly and seeks to:   

  • Improve understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion and publish the benefits to help deliver better care for all
  • Improve and sustain the number of BME leaders working in the NHS
  • Profile the diverse range of BME leaders delivering solutions across the health and care system.

The network is co-chaired by Danielle Oum, chair of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and Ifti Majid, chief executive of Derbyshire Healthcare. 

Formal members of the network will be leaders from BME backgrounds, while we encourage non-BME leaders to become supporters of the network. Please provide your details on this jotform

To find out more and to get involved, email Joan Saddler, director of partnerships and equality, at

COVID-19: supporting members

Emerging evidence in the UK and abroad suggests that COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on people from BME backgrounds. Early analysis also points to an overrepresentation of BME health and care professionals among coronavirus fatalities. This is deeply troubling.

A government inquiry into the reasons why has been launched, but more immediate action is needed in the interim to mitigate risks. Our new briefing considers the emerging evidence and suggests measures to safeguard communities, patients and staff. Intended for senior health and care leaders, it aims to inform decision making and influence change.

We have been reflecting members concerns in the media. We will be working with NHS England and NHS Improvement on this issue, working with network members and the wider NHS Confederation membership to effect change.

This briefing is the first in a series of publications and activity to support BME Leadership Network members and the wider NHS Confederation.

To keep informed of work and support, join the network by completing this form.

Our publications

  • The first report published by the BME Leadership Network calls for a review of the current appointments process after it found that the percentage of chairs and non-executives of NHS Trusts from a BME background has nearly halved in the last decade – from 15 per cent in April 2010 to 8 per cent today. The report also points out that the percentage of women in chair and non-executive roles has fallen from 47 per cent in 2002 to 38 per cent now. At the same time there has been no increase in the proportion of non-executive leaders with a disability – this has remained static, between 5 and 6 per cent.
  • Director of partnerships and equality Joan Saddler gives a roundup of BME Leadership Network activity at NHS Health & Care Expo 2019

Our network supporters:

BME Leadership Network supporters

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Research study on COVID-19 and BME communities

We have launched a research study into the impact of COVID-19 on black and minority ethnic (BME) communities to identify the root causes behind the disproportionate effect.

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