01 May 2018

Building important connections with BAME communities Sheela Upadhyaya, associate director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE

Sheela discusses why we should encourage more people from BAME backgrounds to apply for senior level roles and be involved in NICE committees.

Sheela Upadhyaya, associate director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation

Black, Asian and other minority ethnic (BAME) communities are underrepresented across senior levels within the NHS. This is also the case at NICE, but we want to change that. We are encouraging people with BAME backgrounds to join our committees and apply for senior roles.

My experience of applying for a role within NICE has been a positive one. I spoke to my director initially to get a good understanding of what the role required and I drew on my experience of being a NICE committee member to show I understood how NICE works. I had also taken part in a NHS BAME leadership programme which helped me to understand how diversity can be a strength in any organisation. All of these factors helped me to secure a senior role in NICE. I am proud to work for an organisation that is recognised as a pace setter by many other countries.

The aim of NICE guidance is to improve care for everyone. Therefore, our workforce and committees should include people from a wide range of backgrounds, with the skills and knowledge required to develop recommendations that work at a national and local level.

For example, a committee discussing conditions which are more prevalent in BAME communities will have better insight if someone with BAME experience adds their voice to the discussion. BAME communities have different perspectives, perceptions and in some cases may value things differently. Bringing these views into the discussion supports NICE in developing guidance that can work for everyone.

I would personally like to encourage more colleagues with BAME backgrounds to apply for committee positions and senior roles. I would also like to call on our committee members and partners to promote the benefits of working with NICE. Our guidance can only be as good as the people who produce it, so let’s all contribute to the solution.

We want to achieve good BAME representation on our committees, so we are improving our application process. If you have an interest in helping support how the NHS delivers care and have a passion to effect change then apply now.

Tags: BAME, leadership programme, BAME workforce, improve care, NICE committees, apply

1 comment

  • I would wholeheartedly echo these sentiments. Having being given the opportunity to be part of a NICE committee to offer a clinical perspective is an engaging, enlightening, instructive and hugely rewarding experience.
    Thank you !

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