Events and News:

Our 5th Birthday Celebrations at the House of Commons, 4 June 2024

3000 members, 85 Fellows, 20 podcasts, over 100 bursaries and we are just getting started! We celebrated our 5th Anniversary at Westminster with our members, team and allies. The Network has changed lives, challenged racism and discrimination, created a new generation of digital leaders and champions and is helping to improve patient safety and outcomes. Help us to continue to grow and support health and care systems build capability, capacity and expertise in health technology. Thank you to Intersystems who sponsored the event.

Joint statement from The Shuri Network and Digital Health

Reported racist remarks said to have been made by Frank Hester, CEO of health software company TPP, inciting violence against the UK’s longest serving black MP Diane Abbott have resulted in widespread condemnation. A Guardian report on Monday, 11 March, reported Hester making the comments at a 2019 TPP company meeting. The Shuri Network and Digital Health issued a joint statement on the 12th of March: “Frank’s reported comments are misogynistic, racist and unacceptable. They also shine a light on the bigger questions we as the NHS and an informatics community need to address: where do we draw the line on working with organisations? And what action can we collectively do to stop this and enable positive change?

“These remarks stand in stark contrast to the values we champion: diversity, inclusion, and respect within the digital health sector. We are committed to not only addressing these issues head-on but also to fostering a culture where such views are openly challenged and corrected. In light of this, we are calling upon our community at Rewired 2024 to join us to develop actionable steps toward a more inclusive environment.

“We have a joint responsibility, at all levels of the NHS – national leaders to those working within healthcare settings – to speak out and challenge views that have no place in our industry. We urge delegates at Rewired over the next two days and those not attending, to use this opportunity to come together as a community to debate and agree what should happen next. Together, we can turn this moment into a catalyst for real and lasting progress.”

The British Medical Journal published an article by our Chair, Dr Shera Chok on racism and misogyny in digital health in March 2024. 

Past events:

On the 8th of March our chair, Dr Shera Chok, and Digital Fellow alumni, Victoria Komolafe, joined Amanda Pritchard, Sam Allen and many more leaders to celebrate International Women’s Day with the NHS Confederation. They shared how the Network is creating a new generation of diverse digital leaders and working with allies to improve patient care, deliver digital innovation and reduce inequalities. If you missed it you can watch the recording here: https://www.nhsconfed.org/events/watch-celebrating-international-womens-day-2024
Our first event for Shuri members in 2024 was with Michelle Cox on the 20th of March. Michelle has 30 years’ experience in the NHS, and 26 years as a registered nurse. Michelle’s case against NHSE for racial discrimination in 2023 led to her landmark win. The event was one of the most powerful, thought-provoking and moving sessions we’ve ever had.
Our Chair, Shera Chok was awarded the Zenith Global Health Special Recognition Award in October 2023 for her contribution to healthcare, workforce development and EDI.

What is the Future of Data in the NHS?
The Shuri Network in Conversation with Ming Tang

31 October 2023

As part of the Long Term Plan, NHS England is investing over £2bn in digitalising the NHS. A federated data platform (FDP) for the NHS is a key part of that investment to connect data systems and support NHS organisations be more efficient. The FDP is a key enabler to support the transformation of care for patients across England but has also raised questions about data privacy and security. Shuri members met with Ming Tang, Chief Data Officer at NHS England at the AI and Data conference in October to discuss the use of data in healthcare.

OUR 4TH ANNIVERSARY !

We celebrated our 4th birthday at the Digital Health Summer School in Birmingham in July 2023. The Network funded places for 20 members to attend the Summer School. Two of our members, Tole Awe and Felicia Akubue share the benefits of gaining bursaries and being members of the Network: Digital Health Unplugged: The Shuri Network continues to shine

Thank you – you made it possible to attend my first ⁦Summer School. You are all my sheroes, inspiring women of colour interested in careers in digital health and data.” Bursary holder, July 2023.

Our Digital Fellowship programme was also a FINALIST in the national Innovate Awards in September 2023! The Innovate Awards celebrate excellence in healthcare, diversity and innovation and is a collaboration between the AHSN Network, which acts as the collective voice of the 15 academic health science networks and the NHS Confederation. The Awards showcase teams, organisations and health and care systems leading the way in positive change.

The Shuri Network meets Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, Fri, 3 March 2023, Central Newcastle upon Tyne

We were delighted to meet the inspirational Chi Onwurah MP. Chi is the shadow minister for Science, Research & Digital and Member of Parliament (MP) for Newcastle Upon Tyne Central. Our guests included Professor Graham Evans, Executive Chief Digital and Information Officer for NHS North East and North Cumbria – Integrated Care Board and Honorary Professor, Teesside University, and the meeting was chaired by Fiona McDonald (Chair), CNIO and Shuri steering group member.  

Before entering Parliament, Chi spent two decades as a professional engineer, working across three continents. Chi is passionate about encouraging women of colour into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and discussed her journey into a STEM career and then into politics, as well as actions to increase diversity in this field. Our co-founder, Dr Shera Chok was also invited to speak at the recent APPG for Diversity in STEM, which Chi chairs.

Black History Month 2022: Black Panther Wakanda Forever with the NHS Digital Embrace Network

A magical evening networking with NHS Digital’s Embrace Network, the NHSE London BAME Network and our allies to celebrate Black History Month and the release of the Black Panther film sequel on the 11th November !

Digital Health Summer School 14 – 15 July 2022

We celebrated our 3rd birthday in style at the Summer School in York in July ! Our Chair, Shera Chok, led a panel that discussed how ICSs will deliver the significant changes needed to reduce inequalities using digital enablers and growing their digital workforce. NHS Digital provided 20 women from minority ethnic groups who are members of the Network with a bursary to cover the cost of the Summer School. The feedback from our members has been incredibly positive and we continue to see the impact of the Network on promoting digital careers, diversity and inclusion at individual, organisational and national levels.

Our wonderful team, members, fellows and allies at our workshop at the Summer School in York – celebrating our 3rd birthday and creating the future together !

Rewired March 2022

Our Digital Nursing Fellows celebrated the successful completion of our Fellowship with our allies and team at Rewired.

The Shuri magic lit up the Rewired conference in London on the 15th and 16th of March ! Huge thanks to Jon Hoeksma, Lauren Hoodless, Neil Hadland and the Digital Health team for their incredible support. Our Digital Nursing Fellows celebrated the successful completion of our Fellowship with our allies and team. Rafiah Badat and Dr Ayesha Rahim chaired fantastic sessions on the Office of the CCIO and AHPs in digital health.

Our chair, Dr Shera Chok led a panel discussion with Dr Habib Naqvi, Director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, Rodaluz Trinidad, Informatics Lead Nurse, Barts Health, Sonia Patel, CIO, NHSX and Eddie Olla, Regional Director of Digital Transformation, NHSE Midlands. We talked about Integrated Care Systems, how they will use digital enablers to drive improvements in patient outcomes and what would make a difference to frontline staff.

Our Fellows Elise Pabriaga and Star Tshabalala speaking at Rewired, March 2022

See the full job advert, role description and person specification.

Shuri Winter Warmer : 14 and 17th December 2021:

Our first winter warmer series was a festive celebration of innovation, diversity and inclusion designed to inspire and support your career progression in 2022. We heard from leading figures within the NHS and care, digital health and recruitment.

Introduction to Coding with Coding Black Females: We had a fun and interactive coding workshop with the fantastic Coding Black Females team where they talked us through the basics of coding and all there is to know to kickstart your coding journey.

HTN Digital Strategy, Inclusion and Change: The role of ICSs, NHS recovery and social care digitisation with Patricia Miller, Memory Kamwemba, Mark Nicholas and Allison Nation. Through an engaging and passionate panel, this session will highlight workstreams taking place on a national perspective for digital transformation in social care and care in the community. A recording is available through the link above.

Job Applications with Hunter Healthcare : Job applications can be a minefield. As a woman from a minority ethnic group, how do you ensure you stand out from the crowd and make it onto the shortlist? Hunter Healthcare is a leading recruitment specialist and Tom Hodges and Mandy Honig explained what recruiters are looking for, how to build your brand, write a cover letter and a CV ! See our Resources page for a summary of their top tips !

Black in Digital: Building a successful career in the NHS: 5 November 1-2 pm: This event celebrated Black History and we heard from the truly inspiring Angela Knight Jackson, Head of Nursing Development Programmes, National Nursing Directorate, NHS England and Improvement, Ronke Adejolu, Associate Chief Nursing Information Officer, NHSX and Bisi Soledolu : Project Manager, Shuri Nursing Fellowship and Ageing Well Programme Manager, NHS England and NHS Improvement. They described their personal and leadership journeys as black women in health and digital roles.

Women In Leadership: Royal Wolverhampton and Walsall Healthcare in partnership with the IHM: 27 October 5-6 pm

This will be the very first in this series led by the IHM. Our chair, Dr Shera Chok, Eddie Olla, Shuri steering group member & NHSE Regional Director for Digital Transformation and Sony Thattil, one of our new Nurse Fellows and lead Sepsis Nurse at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust will be sharing their insights and experiences of digital innovation, workforce development and leadership.

Heather Caudle, Angela Knight-Jackson, Bisi Soledolu, Anna Awoliyi and Natasha Phillips at HETT, October 2021.

Digital opportunities for nurses: 28th September The Shuri team was a big hit at HETT 2021 with a fantastic panel: Natasha Phillips, CNIO, NHSX, Angela Knight-Jackson, NHSE, Bisi Soledolu, NHSE, Anna Awoliyi, CAHPIO, Kettering General and Heather Caudle, CNO, Surrey and Borders explored how nurses are leading and implementing digital change programmes and how we are collaborating with NHSE, NHSX and HEE to improve diversity in technology.

The Shuri team at the Leeds Digital Festival, chaired by our steering group member Eddie Olla: 22 September 2021

So women don’t do tech ….really ? 22nd September Our team led by Eddie Olla were at the Leeds Virtual Digital Festival at 430 pm with Bisi Soledolu, Tracey Thomas and Alina Timofeeva. We had a lively discussion about mentoring, succeeding against the odds, getting and responding to feedback and building confidence. So women don’t do Tech… Really? Tickets, Wed 22 Sep 2021

We won the national TechWomen100 Network of the Year award in December 2020 ! The award recognises the difference our Network is making to increasing diversity, safety and innovation within 18 months of our launch.

Shuri turns two ! July 2021: We celebrated our 2nd birthday with our members & allies at the Digital Health Summer School on the 15th July ! We heard from digital leaders from Wales and England and issued a call to action to our allies and members: Create safe spaces for your teams and open the door to somebody who may not be within your usual sphere of social or professional contact. Help to demystify tech careers and tell us what you’ve done.

Diversity in the digital health workforce: Next steps in your career as a BAME woman. 23 April 2021

Our first joint event of 2021 with the Health Foundation was thought-provoking, inspiring and a huge success ! We heard from role models including Navina Evans, Ayesha Rahim, Rachel Tesfaye, Ronke Adejolu, Sara Nelson, Tracey Thomas, Shera Chok and Tara Suran.

“You know those events that stay with you for life, the ones where you replay sound bites over and over in your head? Today’s @NetworkShuri talk with @NavinaEvans@ronkeadejolu@RachelETesfaye and Shera Chok was one of those. Become an ally. Join the network.” K. Toma, audience feedback.

Shuri Network Shadowing Programme Launch: 30 March 2021

Our shadowing programme launch event on the 30th of March was attended by over 55 people. The programme aims to create opportunities for women of colour to shadow digital, health and care leaders, build relationships and confidence and gain insight into different roles and environments. This ground-breaking national initiative in collaboration with Hexitime will enable members and allies to share their expertise, experience and grow professional networks.

Rewired, 16-17 March 2021: We were delighted to be a partner for Rewired, one of the largest digital festivals in the UK. Our Shuri Fellows, Student Ambassador and Steering Group members spoke at the Digital Leadership Summit on the 16th and the Clinical Software Summit on the 17th. If you missed us you can register to view the talks here ! https://digitalhealthrewired.com/

NHS Women in Tech – Breaking Down the Barriers, 4 March 2021: A look into key NHS women in health tech, and how they’ve changed the status quo. Ronke Adejolu, Associate CNIO, Community Nursing NHSX, Shuri Network member and Topol Fellow joined an inspiring panel of speakers hosted by Rethink Healthcare.

OHT Students Careers Fair, 24 February 2021: Dr Ayesha Rahim shared her expertise of building health IT infrastructure at the first One HealthTech Career Fair.

Kings College London African-Caribbean Medical Society: Tech in Med Networking Event, 18 February 2021: Talks from our Student Ambassador Ghazel Mukhtar, our chair, Shera Chok, Dr Jossy Onwude, Ellen Nelson Rowe and Mr Carlon Fitzpatrick.

HETT Reset, 9th of February 2021: Dr Shera Chok chaired a panel of national experts who discussed diversity and health inequalities. Key messages: Co-produce digital services and products with users, build smart partnerships, increase diversity in tech innovators, be bold, brave and practical. https://htn.co.uk/2021/02/09/addressing-diversity-and-health-inequalities-alongside-tech-innovation/

Diverse leadership: ‘Where and when I enter’ – NHS Confederation : 25 November 2020: Prof Dame Elizabeth Anionwu led a conversation between five leaders from black and minority ethnic communities, including our Chair, tackling leadership throughout and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The discussion covered innovative solutions to yesterday’s problems through diverse leadership styles, remaining authentic as a leader, intense scrutiny and the impact of error and values-based leadership and the importance of connection. 

Anthropology and Technology Conference, 9 October 2020

Dr Ijeoma Azodo and Rafiah Badat spoke about the risks of algorithmic decision-making to marginalize and exclude and the actions needed to avoid this. The Anthropology + Technology conference aims to facilitate dialogue on emerging technology projects in order to help businesses benefit from more socially-responsible AI. https://www.anthtechconf.co.uk/12-diversity-design-and-digital-health-with-ijeoma-azodo-and-rafiah-badat/

EDUCATION AND INSPIRATION: DIGITAL LEADERSHIP – INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS, 8 October 2020

What trends are emerging in digital jobs & how do you increase your chances of success as a BAME woman ? We are collaborating with award-winning talent management provider, Hunter Healthcare and senior NHS leaders to bring you a series of practical and inspiring events to encourage more women of colour to step forward and succeed in their digital careers. If you missed it see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHu8qZ_lhII&feature=emb_logo

DIGITAL LEADERSHIP – INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS, 8th Oct 2020
“Riveting honesty” “The talks are so relatable ! ” “This has been a brilliant session !”

 IHM Staffing Conference, 24 September 2020. Stephanie Riley from Doctor Care Anywhere and ICU nurse and our chair, Dr Shera Chok shared their experiences of building digital careers and workforce development. You can find all of the presentations here:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKW96tAdApjc7Nmzj7TNEJR-MCu7GGpBa

Building Diversity in Digital Health, 23 and 24 September 2020

Dr Ayesha Rahim, CCIO at Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust led this exciting event with our partners, including NHS England and the Yorkshire and Humber AHSN. If you missed it you can watch all the talks here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX6BzM9kqS8TsVvjeOM2ttw/videos

Allyship for the digital, data and technology workforce: 17 September: What does it mean to be an effective ally? This webinar aims to raise awareness and promote dialogue around allyship and diversity for the digital data & technology workforce. Chaired by Aasha Cowey from NHS South, Central and West, with our Steering Group member Rafiah Badat, NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow, and Speech & Language Therapist, St George’s University Hospitals NHS FT. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-importance-of-allyship-for-the-digital-data-and-technology-workforce-tickets-116871514847?idU=1

The Shuri Network and Health Foundation Webinar Series Inaugural meeting : Wednesday 9 September 2020 2-330 pm

Our first joint event with the Health Foundation ! Evelyn Asante-Mensah OBE, Stephanie Riley, Anna Awoliyi, Sarah Jensen, Jennifer Dixon, Rachel Tesfaye, Daphne Amevenu and Dr Shera Chok shared their personal journeys, the actions being taken to increase diversity and inclusion and how BAME women are using digital tech in healthcare settings to deliver safe patient care. Audience feedback:

“I love the authenticity. It’s so refreshing.”

“Thank you @NetworkShuri for such an inspirational webinar ! A fabulous network of aspirational women.”

London Digital Pioneer Fellowship webinar: Sep 2, 2020 5:00 PM Join us and the Digital Health London team for a webinar on the Digital Pioneer Fellowship, a flagship programme that supports change makers, employed by NHS organisations in London and the South East, to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation. Sara Nelson, Programme Director and our co-founder Dr Shera Chok will be talking to programme alumni Nikki Kahllon, Kwesi Afful and Rafiah Badat about their experience and advice for applications. https://t.co/tOPUXY75d4?amp=1

Our virtual birthday at the Digital Health Summer School with Ronke Adejolu, Dr Shera Chok, Dr Ijeoma Azodo, Andrea Downey, Zainab Hussain, Dr Nikki Kanani, Sarah Amani, Yinka Makinde and Sonia Patel; 23 July 2020.

Key advice from the panel: Believe in yourself, be courageous, get yourself a mentor, create a safe space at work and new opportunities to develop, don’t hold yourself back from applying for jobs even if you don’t meet all of the person spec criteria, build your personal vision, know your worth and network, network, network !

Our First Birthday Celebration ! We turned one in July and celebrated at the Digital Health Virtual Summer School with a stellar panel who discussed what needs to be done to improve representation and diversity in digital health and the tech sector. If you missed it you can hear a podcast of the session at https://www.digitalhealth.net/2020/07/digital-health-unplugged-the-shuri-network-one-year-on/

Summer special for teenagers and young people of colour, 12 August 2020: What is a data scientist? What tech jobs are there in the public sector ? If you missed our fun webinar with Coders of Colour and Ayo Ogonkolade, Jasmine Latham, Zainab Garba-Sani, Tolulope Ogunremi, Ruth Agbakoba, Grace Annan- Callcott & our co-founder Dr Shera Chok you can view the recording here ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDvScRqjQME&feature=youtu.be

6 July 2020: Ethnic diversity in health tech: Actions to Do More. Searing. Honest. Controversial. The most powerful discussion on bullying, racism and diversity we have seen. Applies to the whole NHS, not just the tech sector. Patricia Hughes, Divisional Nurse Director, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and member of the Shuri Network joined the TechUK panel to discuss what needs to change. https://youtu.be/9IncifJuFUM

15 June 2020: How to change the culture of your conversations in your teams to allow inclusion & diversity. Rafiah Badat, Shuri steering group member, NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow and a Speech & Language Therapist, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spoke at this webinar aimed at emerging AHP leaders and managers to inspire the next generation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADvJQM7i28E&feature=youtu.be

4 June 2020: Achieving Diversity and Reducing the Digital Divide in the digital response during and beyond COVID-19. Do digital services increase access or widen the digital divide? Dr Shera Chok chaired a discussion on improving digital inclusion and access with NHS England, the Good Things Foundation, the National Digital Service, Scotland and the Federation of Informatics Professionals. https://t.co/CfPLdn2kKV?amp=1

1 June 2020: Taking a digital innovation idea and making it a reality. How do you take your first steps as a digital pioneer? What support is there if you want to turn your ideas for improving care through digital into reality? We collaborated with Digital Health London, ORCHA and Levanya Plus to share the stories of two remarkable women, Rajal Patni and Saira Arif. https://digitalhealth.london/webinar-taking-a-digital-innovation-idea-and-making-it-a-reality/

17 May 2020 BBC World Service: The Evidence. Covid-19 and the impact on BME communities. Dr Shera Chok joined speakers from the Johns Hopkins University, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Oxford University to highlight the underlying health and social inequalities that led to what we have seen in the UK and US and the actions needed to address them. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct0sfj

6 May 2020: Covid-19 and the Impact on BAME Communities – What needs to change? Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on BME communities and staff. Our co-founder, Dr Shera Chok, organised a webinar with Sky News, the Royal College of Nursing, the British Medical Association and the British Association of Physicians of India Origin (BAPIO) to discuss the causes and actions needed. Nearly 500 people joined the webinar for a wide ranging, thought provoking and honest discussion. https://youtu.be/pmIiLuf3NEI

2019: How to apply for the NHS Digital Academy: Our co-founder, Sarah Amani led a discussion with senior digital leaders Zainab Hussain, Dr Ayesha Rahim and Sonia Patel about their experience of the Digital Academy, the benefits of the programme and advice for the application process. https://zoom.us/rec/play/vcElce-uqD43ToGQuASDCvcsW9Tpe6KsgCcb-KYInUq3ByRXM1H3NboaY7aECrM95s8sZ5Rn9O3pXVFC?continueMode=true&_x_zm_rtaid=niAGgG4BQuOGinBnB_kHzQ.1592384622576.9ae792c95cbf80ea6e398b6dba033ace&_x_zm_rhtaid=21

Newsletters

You can access our 2020 newsletters here:

Shuri Network Newsletter July 2020

Shuri Network Newsletter June 2020

Shuri Network Newsletter April 2020

Diversity in Digital Health Leeds Event 21 April 2020

Happy New Year 2020

We also post regular updates about the Network on our twitter account @NetworkShuri

Dr Ijeoma Azodo, Dr Shera Chok, Sonia Patel, Rafiah Badat, Nikki Kahllon and Dr Ayesha Rahim with Jon Hoeksma, Chief Executive of Digital Health at Rewired, March 2020.
Trish Hughes and Shera Chok speaking at the HSJ Digital Summit, 2020