Date of release: Monday, November 14, 2016

Mary Seacole award for Deborah IsaacThe reasons why many British black and other ethnic minority mental health nurses are failing to gain top jobs in the NHS are being investigated by a University of Greenwich academic.

Deborah Isaac, a Senior Lecturer, has gained a prestigious Mary Seacole Leadershp Award of up to £12,500 to fund research into the barriers blocking their careers.

Ms Isaac, a former mental health nurse, is studying for a doctorate with the university's Faculty of Education & Health.

She says: "There are many black and ethnic minority people working in mental health services across the NHS. However, they are under-represented in the higher career grades, where they can influence policy and approaches to service delivery.

"I want to work with mental health NHS staff to identify the barriers they face in their career progression."

Mary Seacole Leadership Awards are funded by Health Education England and awarded in association with the Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing, UNISON and Unite CPHVA (Community Practitioners and Health Visitors).

The awards are named to recognise the leadership of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican/Scottish nurse and businesswoman, celebrated for her bravery in nursing soldiers in the Crimean War in the 1850s.

Ms Isaac adds: "This award is timely – the work of Mary Seacole has gained significant recognition in the media over the past few months with the unveiling of her bronze memorial statue on the gardens of St. Thomas's Hospital. Receiving the award makes me even more proud of my nursing background.

"I have been based in the Mary Seacole building at the university's Avery Hill campus for the past eight years. Gaining an award bearing her name makes it even more gratifying."

Discover more about studying with the University of Greenwich's Faculty of Education & Health:
http://www.gre.ac.uk/eduhea

For more about the Mary Seacole Awards 2016/17: http://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/plan/building-a-diverse-workforce/get-involved/the-mary-seacole-awards

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Deborah Isaac.