Wolverhampton hospital staff champion wins national diversity award

A staff champion based at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital has been honoured with a prestigious national award recognising equality and diversity.

Neelam Mehay with her award
Neelam Mehay with her award

Neelam Mehay was thrilled to win the British Medical Association’s Outstanding Contribution to Equality and Diversity award from the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin ( BAPIO).

Ms Mehay said: “I’m humbled and delighted to receive this award. Without the contributions and support from the wider staff and my colleagues I would not have been able to achieve this recognition. So a very big heartfelt thank you to you all.”

Ms Mehay is the Freedom To Speak Up Guardian (FTSU) for The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust - 29 per cent of whose staff are from a BAME background - and has worked for the organisation for over five years.

She was nominated by consultant Dr Sanjay Vydianath in recognition of her role and her contributions towards equality, diversity and inclusion within the organisation.

The award-winner picked up her glass trophy at the BAPIO Jubilee Awards Ceremony held at Warwickshire County Cricket Club in Edgbaston.

Through Ms Mehay's role, she persuaded a junior doctor who claimed he was bullied and subjected to racism to have his concerns heard by the deputy medical director of the trust and also to share his thoughts and experiences in a promotional video.

The video is now used as a tool in mandatory training for all staff to raise the profile of speaking up and show how FTSU can support staff, especially for the more vulnerable elements of the workforce.

Ms Mehay added: “Working closely with Balvinder Everitt, the trust’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) lead, I have influenced the FTSU training to include elements of EDI such as lived experiences of BAME staff speaking up, stereotypes and biases we hold as a society and when banter can go too far and impact equality.

“I have recently completed the ‘Effective Allyship Train the Trainer’ course, which has ignited my passion further to encourage and raise the profile of psychological safety and speaking up through the role of being an effective ally for our vulnerable staff groups.”

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