Black and Minority Ethnic Network (BME).


Welcome to the BME Network area of our website. Here you will find information to help you if you want to:

  • Start a network;
  • Find advice on sustaining existing networks;
  • Access information from events focused on developing networks;
  • Locate relevant documents;
  • Find contact details for those who can support you with developing networks. 

Find contacts for networks across the east of England at the bottom of this page


Why have a BME Network for staff?

  • To share knowledge and experience
  • To improve working lives of staff
  • To provide a forum to highlight common workplace issues for the organisation to address
  • To assist with identifying development needs
  • Provide a forum for linking into other staff network groups
  • To influence and support organisations’ policy and practice
  • To celebrate achievements.

What makes a successful BME network?

Here is a checklist from the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement for NHS organisations wanting to create a BME network.  The points have been drawn together from a workshop around developing BME networks, and are to assist individuals and organisations in developing and sustaining networks. The list is not exhaustive. To develop a successful BME network you are likely to need:

  • A robust business and action plan
  • Senior management support – a ‘champion’
  • Clear reporting lines for the group – who will take forward items raised by the network for action?
  • Effective leadership of the network – clear, identified, sustained
  • Dedicated resources – both financial and man hours
  • Terms of reference (TOR)
  • Core skills training available to key members – chair, treasurer, minute taker
  • The network to have a mission statement
  • To develop a communication and marketing plan
  • To share good practice and celebrate success
  • To ensure the network is inclusive
  • To have clarity on how success of the network will be measured
  • To ensure the development of networks is reflected in Equality & Diversity and HR strategies
  • To establish inter-organisational network links.

For further information on BME Networks contact pat.cotton@leadershipacademy.nhs.uk

Click on the link to download a copy of a report from the Royal College of Nursing on Releasing the Potential within BME Networks.


BME networks in east of England:

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust Diversity Network

Equality and Diversity Officer: sue.rampal@cpft.nhs.uk 07528 252844

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Equality Lead: monica.jacot@addenbrookes.nhs.uk 01223 217913

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager: Navrita.Atwal@eastamb.nhs.uk 01234 243014

Essex County Council

Network Chair: alyesha.roachford@essex.gov.uk 0333 013 6063/ 07887 824535

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust  

Network Chair: lorna.markland@sept.nhs.uk

Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust BME Network

Equality and Diversity Officer: Samantha Slaytor equality@hpft.nhs.uk

Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust

Equality and Diversity Adviser: john.mclellan1@nhs.net

NELFT NHS Foundation Trust

Equality and Diversity Manager, & Member of the Ethnic Minority Staff Network Equality and Diversity Department: harjit.bansal@nelft.nhs.uk

Norfolk and Suffolk BME Network

Network Chairs: Paul Johnson and Ravi Seenanbmenetwork@nsft.nhs.uk

West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust  

Network Chair: daisy.peets@whht.nhs.uk01923 217715