Health Education England

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:

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

Find contacts for networks across the east of England.

NHS BME Network

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;
-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 Karen Bloomfield,

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:

Norfolk and Suffolk BME Network

The network is not about colour, rather a space for staff to think about issues relating to culture and ethnicity either for themselves or for staff who would wish to consider issues relating to diversity relating to the local population and their area of work.

What does the network offer?

- Network meetings/workshops.
- Support to staff on work related issues.
- Consultation on clinical issues for either individuals or services.
Chairs: Paul Johnson and Ravi Seenan

Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust BME Network

The HPFT network supports staff with work issues  e.g. disciplinary etc, and guides them towards the correct processes. We conduct mock interviews for staff going for promotion which they have found helpful because all have been successful. The network have encouraged 4 members to attend a university coaching course and three completed successfully. 

Equality and Diversity Officer: James Holland

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust  

Chair - Lorna Markland 

West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust  

Chair - Daisy Peets  
Tel: 01923 217363

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager - Navrita Atwal

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Equality and Diversity Officer - Sue Rampal

NELFT NHS Foundation Trust

Equality and Diversity Manager, & Member of the Ethnic Minority Staff Network Equality and Diversity Department - Harjit K Bansal

Essex County Council

Head of Equalities, Corporate Law and Assurance, Corporate Services - Shammi Jalota

Mid Essex Hospitals NHS trust

Equality and Diversity Adviser - John McLellan