October 7th, 2011

Raks New Profile Pic Square

NHS BME Network: "The Big Move", 1st Anniversary Conference

On Friday 16 September 2011, I had my first official assignment as a reporter for Operation Black Vote (OBV).

I was covering “The Big Move”, the NHS BME Network's first anniversary conference, held at the Hilton Hotel on London's Park Lane.

Last month saw the NHS BME Network celebrate their first anniversary at a conference titled "The Big Move" held at the Hilton Hotel on London's Park Lane.

The NHS BME Network was launched in June 2010 to be an independent and effective voice for BME staff, patients, service users and carers to ensure the NHS delivers on its statutory duties regarding race equality.

Dr Vivienne Lyfar-Cisse, the Transitional Lead for the NHS BME Network, spoke at the event on a range of issues including the unfair treatment of BME staff. She cited the prevalence of institutional racism and the detrimental impact it could have to staff and the service if not dealt with.

Lyfar-Cisse said:
In the past five years forced detention and medication of people under the Mental Health Act has increased significantly for many BME communities and ethnic health inequalities remain a major area of concern. The unfair treatment of BME staff as a result of institutional racism is prevalent and without intervention is likely to deteriorate further during the reconfiguration of the NHS. However, the reality is it does not have to be like this.

Dr Lyfar-Cisse added:
It is evident that the NHS is going through the biggest "shake up" since it was established in 1948. Whatever we think of the current NHS reforms the reconfiguration process provides us with an ideal opportunity to effect change for the benefit of BME people, if we are prepared to "stand up and be counted". It is time for us to show how we intend to make the difference.

As part of the conference, a workshop was held on the Equality Delivery System (EDS) to assess if it was fit for purpose in terms of delivering race equality. EDS went live in July/August 2011 and its purpose is to improve equality performance and embed equality into mainstream NHS business. The ambition is that equality should lie at the heart of the NHS - its values, processes and behaviours.

Embarrassingly, despite working for the Government until very recently, despite having worked in the NHS as a manager and as a management consultant, and despite having a passionate and keen interest in diversity and equality issues generally, the first time I had heard of the Equality Delivery System (EDS) for the NHS was this Conference.

The EDS has been designed as an optional tool to support NHS commissioners and providers to deliver better outcomes for patients and communities and better working environments for staff, which are personal, fair and diverse. The EDS is all about making positive differences to healthy living and working lives.

However, it is facing an uphill struggle. Firstly, EDS is an optional tool. This means that it is something NHS managers could see as a luxury, an add-on, especially in a time of severe budget cuts and pressure on spending. Furthermore, although the NHS BME Network had gone to a lot of effort to consult, bring people together, and submit a response about the EDS, which they sent to the Department of Health for consideration, their efforts were not acknowledged.

It is now up to BME staff, carers and patients to work together, in collaboration and in partnership, with their local health services to put pressure on their NHS management to ensure that they are taking the EDS seriously and implementing it effectively, and that an evaluation of its impact is carried out. Race equality in the NHS, both for BME patients and for BME staff, is long overdue. It is about time race equality became a reality within Britain's NHS both for patients and staff.

copyright © Rakshita Patel 2011

For further information about the NHS BME Network follow the link:
Raks New Profile Pic Square

In tribute to Tom Hardy ...

because we all worship at his altar!

Photo and the amazing accompanying article is here:

Tom Hardy won the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award this year (2011). The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award is the only publicly voted award presented at the Orange British Academy Film Awards. Tom was one of five international actors and actresses nominated for their exceptional talent and recognised as a star in the making and he - deservedly - took home the Crown!

In Tom's honour, I will be running a feature on this next week:

Photo credit: http://www.ntposters.org.uk/image/106660/man-of-mode-the
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Justin Timberlake "Losing My Way"

In case people think I only admire Justin Timberlake for the obvious reason which is this!:

Photo credit: http://www.sofeminine.co.uk/star/pictures-331802-justin-timberlake.html

I want to say two things in my defence.

1) He is an outstanding actor - one who I am really looking forward to watching mature and develop over time.

2) His songs and his music.

I want to talk about one song in particular - "Losing My Way". It talks about the damage that drugs can do to a person and, just as important, to their family and friends. He talks about a predicament affecting many many many young men in the West today. The allure of dropping out of school and focusing on having fun and living the other life - be it gangs, drugs or alcohol. And the destructive effect that all these can have on your life. They all have the potential to literally wreck your dreams and destroy your relationships with family, including children, and friends, leaving you sad, lonely and alone. The song is a cry for help yet there is a glimmer of hope at the end and a chance of redemption. I recommend this song to anyone who is having difficulties in their life at the moment - it has really helped me.

Selected extract from "Losing My Way" Lyrics:

I used to be the man in my hometown
Until I started to lose my way


It is breaking me down
No more friends around...
And my dreams fall down...
Is anybody out there?


There's gotta be a heaven somewhere
Can you save me from this hell?

Oh my God please forgive me (Father hear my prayer)
'Cause I know I've done some wrong in this life
If I could do it all again
Have just one more chance
To take all those wrongs and make them right


Losing my way
Keep losing my way
Keep losing my way
Can you help me find my way?

Collapse )
Raks New Profile Pic Square

King James Bible, National Theatre

I have been promoting this to all and sundry for ages now. But now is the time to do a feature on it!

The National Theatre will be taking part in the 400th anniversary celebrations for the King James Bible. An ensemble of leading NT actors, directed by Nicholas Hytner, James Dacre and Polly Findlay, will read twelve extracts from the Book that changed the world.

Lyttelton Theatre
From 8 October – 6 November

The 12 extracts are:
In the Beginning - From the Creation of the World to Joseph and his brothers in Egypt.
Let My People Go - Moses and his people escape slavery in Egypt in search of the Promised Land.
The Line of David - The boy David defeats a giant and unifies a kingdom. His son Solomon builds the temple in Jerusalem.
Psalms of David and Song of Solomon - The lyrics that have inspired some of the most evocative and sensual translations in English.
Where Shall Wisdom be Found? - As the world falls apart around them, Ecclesiastes the Preacher and Job seek for meaning in catastrophe.
The People that Walked in Darkness - As Israel faces disaster, Isaiah foretells the future.
The Gospel According to Mark - The earliest gospel – Mark’s – is the shortest and most direct telling of Jesus’s death and resurrection.
The Gospel According to Matthew - The most influential of the gospels in English, Matthew dramatizes the coming of the kingdom of heaven.
The Gospel According to Luke - Luke dwells on some of the most human moments in the life of Jesus.
The Tongues of Men and Angels - The Acts and Letters of Peter and Paul shape the foundation of the Church.
The Gospel According to John - The latest gospel – John's – celebrates the mystery of the incarnation.
Revelation - Written in a time of persecution, the Revelation of John foresees the end of days.

The cast includes Andrew Scott (The Gospel According to John) and Mark Gatiss (The Gospel According to Luke).

It opens tomorrow and I know it is going to be OUTSTANDING! I will be seeing it during its November run and will write about it then.

For further details and to book tickets follow the link:
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Barbican Film: Mark Gatiss talks horror

We have not had a Mark story for awhile, for which I profoundly apologise.

So here is an event I won't be going to (other commitments!) but I thought members of the com may well be interested.

ScreenTalk: Mark Gatiss and Jonathan Rigby
+ Daughters of Darkness (18*)
7pm, 11 October 2011

Photo credit: aithine

Following his impressive BBC4 documentary, A History of Horror, actor Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Sherlock, Dr Who) joins author Jonathan Rigby for a lively chat about their mutual love of screen horror.

Follow the link for more details: