October is annually recognised as Black History Month, and to celebrate our vast Islamic heritage through the lens of Black History, we will be launching our own Black History Month campaign, including sharing the stories and lived experiences of Black Muslims in the NHS, launching a new programme in examining health inequalities and hosting a series of events by influencers and leaders in the Muslim community Email us or stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks

NHS Muslim Network Refresh

New Appointments

Since 2016, Javid Patel has helped lead the Network from strength to strength as a founding member and Co-Chair. As Javid transitions to focus more on strengthening the wider Muslim Health Network Collaborative, we would like to thank him for all his work to date, and we pray that Allah (God) accepts and rewards his efforts.

Joining Ihtishaam Malik as the new Co-Chair of the NHS Muslim Network is Zainab Garba-Sani, a Clinical Innovation Manager in the Innovation, Research and Life Sciences Team. Zainab has been supporting the Network for some time now and is keen to help lead and further develop it for our members and brings a wealth of experience in Diversity and Inclusion and Health Inequalities. Also joining the Executive Committee is Noor Jhan-Butt Sherwani, who has been appointed as the Network’s General Secretary. Noor is a Senior Manager in the Cancer Programme and has also played a key role in driving networking opportunities for members and supporting with the Network refresh.

Over the summer, the Network has been working to set out and refresh the aims, objectives, governance and priorities for the Network. The last six months have come with a lot of change: COVID-19, its disproportionate impact on BAME populations, and the launch of the NHS People Plan. Therefore, to ensure that our network is as effective and representative as possible, we have refreshed our purpose and objectives as a network.

The first, and significant change, is that the NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) network is now the NHS Muslim Network, where we will aim to represent and provide opportunities to all Muslim staff in the NHS, and not just NHSEI. The issues and day to day activities of the network are applicable to all staff working in the NHS, and therefore there will be added value in providing a holistic, inclusive network for the whole NHS.

Our objectives are as follows:

1. To provide representation for NHS Muslim staff: The NHS Muslim Network will work to represent Muslim staff across the NHS and provide a collective voice for Muslim colleagues. As representatives, the Network will raise awareness of the Islamic faith and highlight issues to NHS leaders in order to allow Muslim staff to work in an inclusive environment where they can bring their whole selves to work.

2. To provide networking and progression opportunities for NHS Muslim staff: The NHS Muslim Network will provide a forum for Muslim staff across the NHS to network, build contacts and engaging with local communities, and gain opportunities for professional and personal development. The aim is to support NHS Muslim staff to progress in their careers and thus increase the number of Muslim staff in NHS senior leadership positions across all seven regions in England.

3. To help reduce health inequalities experienced by Muslim communities: The NHS Muslim Network will support the NHS and other key stakeholders in tackling health inequalities in the Muslim community. The Network will deliver health promotion activities with key stakeholders and co-develop health programmes and policy (in support of wider Government health objectives) in order to address the wide health inequalities and ensure equity and equality in health outcomes and programmes. More details on the NHS Muslim Network priorities, roles and structures can be found in our updated Terms of Reference (ToR). The Network will still be a key member of the wider Muslim Health Network Collaborative, and will work with partner networks in Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care and others.

Network’s Executive Committee

Following the refresh, we would like to invite all NHS colleagues who are members of the NHS Muslim Network to apply now for a role on the Network’s Executive Committee. The roles available are as follows:

  • Head of Member Development
  • Head of Health Inequalities
  • Head of Communications
  • Head of Faith Literacy
  • Head of Partnerships
  • Head of Data and Analysis

This is a fantastic opportunity for applicants to get involved in the strategic side of the NHS Muslim Network, at an exciting time where the network is expanding its remit. You will be supported from both the NHS and from other committee members and will have regular interactions with senior leaders in the NHS.

The deadline has been EXTENDED to COP Friday 9 October.

If you are interested in a role, please complete the member registration form and outline your expression of interest. Interviews will take place week commencing 12 October.

Staff Support Line

It has been a very busy and emotionally difficult year for most of us. As a new academic year begins and we start to approach winter, many will find the next couple of months equally as busy. We therefore want to take the opportunity to remind you to please look after your mental health and wellbeing. We have enjoyed getting to know more of you during our fortnightly virtual catch ups and it has been an opportunity to take an hour out of our busy days to connect with other Muslims, reflect on matters associated with our deen and have some fun. We will continue to offer these sessions but also recommend that members access other health and wellbeing resources available to you via the NHS People Portal, including a confidential Staff Support Line.

BIMA and MCB – Operation Vaccination

Flu season is upon us, and this year, it is more important than ever to ensure our communities are protected from this. Flu can make it easier for us to contract other infections, like COVID-19 or pneumonia, and can make other long-term illnesses worse.

The British Islamic Medical Association, in collaboration with the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Health Network Collaborative, are launching Operation Vaccination, a campaign to increase awareness in Muslim communities about the importance of getting the flu vaccination this winter. Alongside the British Islamic Medical Association, The British Board of Scholars and Imams, they have pulled together a toolkit and seven easy steps to join Operation Vaccination and help keep Muslim communities safe this winter. You can use this toolkit and all resources provided to work with your local public health body to ensure there is a plan in place that is inclusive of Muslim communities and take a leading role in encouraging vaccination against the flu.

Islamophobic treatment in the NHS

A recent article by the Huffington Post UK highlighted instances of staff abuse and Islamophobic treatment in the NHS.

This series of articles highlighted instances where front line clinicians faced Islamophobic and discriminative behaviour from both colleagues and patients and included instances of structural barriers that many Muslim colleagues have faced in career progression and raising grievances.

The NHS Muslim Network is looking to work with senior leaders in the NHS to ensure that this behaviour is not tolerated and will look to engage and develop a programme in order to evaluate and combat Islamophobia in the NHS. In the interim, we would like to offer members a safe, fully confidential space to discuss any concerns and discrimination in the workplace. You can contact us via our email address: england.muslim1@nhs.net or via the Collaborative website.

Exchange crowdsourcing

Thank you to all our members in NHSE&I who have engaged in the Exchange crowdsourcing since the platform opened in July. We encourage colleagues that haven’t yet had the opportunity to, to comment, vote and get involved in the discussions that are taking place on the Exchange platform.

In order to make the NHS the most inclusive place to work, it is important to capture the experiences, thoughts and suggestions of our Muslim colleagues.  Furthermore, members can discover a range of resources in the knowledge and exchange space in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion area on The Hub. This resource is constantly being developed and is growing as a space to share, exchange and connect each other – embracing diversity and inclusion, and standing together as allies to tackle racism, discrimination and inequalities. 

COVID-19 Guidance

Updated guidance for the Muslim community has been provided by our partner organisations, including:

NHS Clinical Entrepeneur Programme

The NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme is now open for applications.

The NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme is the biggest entrepreneurial workforce development programme of its kind, aiming to provide the commercial skills, knowledge and experience needed to successfully develop and spread innovative solutions to the challenges facing the NHS for the benefit of patients, staff and the wider NHS.

More than 500 individuals including Doctors, Dentists, Healthcare Scientists, Nurses and Midwives, Allied Health Professionals and Pharmacists have joined the programme since it launched in 2016. The programme offers expert mentoring, exclusive networking, and bespoke training to develop their innovative ideas into products and businesses to benefit NHS patients. The programme’s curriculum covers all aspects of setting up and running a small business, including attracting investors, applying for funding, and ensuring appropriate corporate governance. A dedicated programme in how to build a start-up – and how to operate in this highly-charged environment – is delivered as a series of educational events attended by industry mentors. The programme aims to allow entrepreneurs to pursue their innovation without having to leave the health service, providing a wider benefit to economic growth through inward investment in the health, social care and life science sectors.

The deadline for applications is 1 pm on Tuesday 13 October.  You may be invited to have a follow-up call, as part of the application process. These will take place between the 30 November and the 9 December 2020. You will be notified of the outcome of your application in January 2021.

Join a Q&A webinar:

Watch the video Contact the team: england.cep@nhs.net

Our fortnightly virtual network catch ups are proving extremely popular, and cover a wide range of topics from Islamic reminders, to social issues. The sessions are held fortnightly every Thursday between 15:00 – 16:00. If you would like to join or are interested in hosting a session, contact us on: england.muslim1@nhs.net