RCN Rising Stars announced at the Trust

RCN London has announced their Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic nursing Rising Stars of 2020 to kick off their Black History Month celebrations
Today marks the start of Black History Month and, to coincide with this, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) London has announced the winners of this year’s Rising Star awards. Two of this year’s winners are Imperial nurses - Mina Long-John and Ismahaan Ahmed.

These awards recognise excellence in patient care, innovation and leadership from London’s Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) nursing community. This year, RCN London received more nominations than ever, fitting for a year earmarked as Year of the Nurse and Midwife and which has seen nursing at the forefront of the city’s response to COVID-19.

This year’s winners were recognised for ‘giving a voice to staff and patients, for empowering themselves or encouraging others to take action and for showing compassion, innovation, and leadership’. All the winners work across a range of settings, both in hospitals and out in the community, such as critical care, paediatrics, mental health and palliative care.

Mina, who works in General Intensive Care at the Trust, said: 
“When I heard I had won this award I was so taken aback. The last six months have been some of the most challenging times nursing staff in London have ever experienced, especially for nursing staff from BAME backgrounds.  
It is a privilege to win because this shows the challenges my BAME colleagues and I have overcome have not gone unnoticed. I hope these awards will bring us a step closer to a future in which no group of patients or staff goes unheard.” 
Clare Leon Villapalos, Lead Nurse in Critical Care, who nominated Mina for this award, said: 
“During the pandemic surge in intensive care, Mina provided essential, meaningful clinical leadership, to both our substantive staff and to the many redeployed staff in Critical Care.  At times we were concerned that some BAME nursing staff were afraid and they might be at more risk, but Mina was absolutely key in providing sound education, listening to people’s fears and leading by example in the clinical setting. I believe her influence, presence and courageous, open, leadership was essential to supporting our staff.” 

Black History Month is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of nursing staff from BAME backgrounds who work in health and social care in the capital. London has the most diverse workforce in England with 44.9% of all NHS trust staff being from a BAME background.

RCN Regional Director for London, Lisa Elliott, said “Our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic nursing community play a vital role in caring for Londoners. The expertise and professionalism shown by our Rising Stars represent nursing care at its best as well as demonstrating the unique contribution our BAME nursing community in London makes.   
“However, we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that there is still a huge amount of work to do to ensure our nursing colleagues from BAME backgrounds have the same opportunities as others. RCN London is committed to taking a leading role in promoting the voice of the BAME nursing community in the capital and challenging employers where poor practice exists.”