NHS Senior Leadership Onboarding and Support

Named in honour of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican-British nurse, who used her skills in helping injured and sick soldiers during the Crimean War.

The Seacole Group is made up of non-executive directors from BAME NHS backgrounds who together bring knowledge, skills and unique cultural intelligence to help the NHS govern more effectively to achieve the vision of NHS Boards reflecting the ethnic diversity of patients and communities they serve.

The group’s objectives are to  

  • Create a BAME non-executive director support network
  • Strengthen the BAME pipeline for Chair roles in the NHS through supporting potential applicants
  • Improve the effectiveness of BAME NEDs through networks and access to resources
  • Providing a closed network for BAME NEDs to share common concerns and best practice
  • Act as an Advisory Group offering expertise and solutions on how to reduce health inequalities that adversely impact the BAME community and workforce
  • Influence governance structures so that public leadership is more reflective of the communities they serve[1]

The 2018 NHS provider board membership and diversity survey found that though the national BAME profile is 14% of the population[2], BAME individuals made up only 7.7% of NHS provider boards meaning that the percentage of BAME non-executive directors continues to be low.

There is anecdotal evidence that institutional racism unconsciously (and consciously) within the NHS affects appointments and salaries, and therefore keeps BAME people from applying even though they may have experience and leadership qualities.

The group invites BAME non-executive directors from across England to join and bring their unique perspectives and skills to support the aims of the group. Associate membership is open to non-executive directors from other backgrounds who are interested in learning about and supporting the objectives of the group.

If you are interested in joining the Seacole Group, please contact Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE, non- executive director, Homerton University Hospitals Foundation Trust


[1] e.g. Integrated Care Systems, Local Authorities, Police

[2] Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2011 Census