Partnership launches new BAME Fellowship Programme to increase leadership diversity

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) are proud to launch its BAME Fellowship Programme during National Inclusion Week (28 September – 4 October). The week is designed to celebrate everyday inclusion in all its forms by sharing, promoting and inspiring inclusive practice.

Sharing, promoting and inspiring inclusive practice.

Sharing, promoting and inspiring inclusive practice.

The BAME Fellowship Programme is all about recognising talent and enabling the development of careers, as well as developing future systems leaders working across health and care across the area’s six local places (Bradford district and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield).

In 2019 WY&H HCP launched its ‘Five Year Plan’ setting out its ambitions which includes strengthening local economic growth by reducing health inequalities and having a leadership which accurately represents the area’s communities. The work has gained national recognition and WY&H HCP has been highlighted as good practice in the NHS people plan.

Rob Webster, WY&H HCP CEO Lead said: ‘We are clear, we want more diverse leaders across the Partnership that accurately reflects the broad range of talent and one that is representative of our Black Asian, minority and ethnic communities. In March our Partnership Board approved recommendations from the WY&H BAME network in terms of key areas such as talent and retention, culture and influence.  We take this responsibility very seriously and have worked with the Partnership’s BAME staff network to develop a leadership development programme that builds on existing good practice and compliments existing local organisations work. We are determined to ensure adequate representation of BAME colleagues in the next generation of health and care leaders’.

Sayma Mirza, Deputy Chair Airedale NHSFT BAME Network & Member of WY&H HCP BAME Network said: ‘This programme offers a new way of working to address the imbalance through collaboration between partnership organisations, the BAME network and the development programme. We anticipate the programme will support measurable growth in diverse representation at leadership levels across WY&H – what a great legacy to leave for others’.

The fellowship is made up of three leadership development streams to enable people at different stages within their careers to progress to the next stage. The programme will support professionals already in positions of leadership and influence to further enhance and expand their knowledge, skills, and expertise by providing opportunities that will help take them to the next level.

Jo Farn, Programme Director-System and Leadership Development at WY&H HCP said: ‘It’s been brilliant working together with colleagues from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to design this programme. Our aim is to break ‘glass ceilings’ of career progression to achieve leadership that reflects the community we serve, so that we can ensure our priorities are designed to meet diverse needs. We hope this will also inspire other colleagues to pursue senior positions creating a pipeline of talent for the future. We know that having role models to aspire is important in ensuring colleagues feel that they belong - which is also key to wellbeing’.

You can find out more about the programme at