The conference on “Dignity at Work – On Paper or In Practice” was organised by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) in partnership with Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn to discuss and debate the issues related to dignity at work, on Thursday 5/5/2022 at the picturesque Town Hall which has a rich heritage and history in the Hanseatic town of King’s Lynn.
Dr Siya Sharma, Convenor of the conference and Chair of BAPIO Kings Lynn welcomed all the delegates, guest speakers, panellists, chairs, QEH team, and BAPIO officers. He gave brief introduction about the conference and its theme. The conference was attended by over 100 registered delegates and guest speakers.
The QEH- BAPIO MoU signing ceremony was the icing on the cake. This MoU signed by Dr Ramesh Mehta, President BAPIO and Ms Caroline Shaw, CEO QEH Kings Lynn focuses on promoting dignity at workplace, racial equality, elimination of discrimination, bullying, and harassment. BAPIO offers support to its members and NHS employers in resolving issues relating to dignity and racial inequalities.
Indian culture and Heritage:
A short entertainment programme showcased rich culture and music heritage of India, presented by the BAPIO volunteers Sanjukta Mitra who sang popular Hindi songs and Sangeeta De and her team performed Indian traditional and fusion dances.
Why BAPIO is focussing on Dignity at work:
Being valued, being listened to, and being treated with respect are just some of the things that add up to a Dignified Workplace. Research tells us that if we combine dignified work with a dignified workplace then we will have dignified workers. BAPIO believes that by focusing on the actions that support building a dignified workplace we will be successful in tackling bullying and harassment and make sure people do feel valued, listened to, and treated with respect as they go about their work in the NHS as every one of us contributes to the health and wellbeing of the nation.
A galaxy of prominent experts from across the country delivered key messages, highlighted the extent of the problem of dignity at work-place in NHS, and suggested solutions as a way forward to make the workplace dignified. BAPIO President Dr Ramesh Mehta set the scene by highlighting the existence of dignity at work related problems in the NHS involving ethnic doctors and nurses. He introduced the newly developed Dignity at Work Standards document and shared the findings of surveys conducted by BAPIO and NHS organisations.
NHS leaders acknowledged the existing issues affecting dignity at work and deliberated on action plan to reduce discrimination, bullying and harassment and making a compassionate leadership. Guest speakers talked about problems and solutions for race inequality, lack of support mechanisms, self-respect of ethnic doctors, Indo-UK Fellowship Programmes dealing with workforce crisis, innovative solutions, and educational entrepreneurship.
The conference deliberations were attended by Prof. Mala Rao, Medical Advisor, NHS MWRES (Medical Workforce Race Equality Standards) Strategy; Prof Geeta Menon, Post Graduate Dean, London; Dr. Habib Naqvi MBE, CEO NHS Race and Health Observatory; Dr Satheesh Mathew Vice President, BAPIO; Prof Parag Singhal, Executive Director of BAPIO Training Academy (BTA); Ms. Caroline Shaw, CEO of QEH, Prof Erika Denton, Dr Pallavi Devulapalli, Dr. Frankie Swords, Dr M Amin, Ms Sarah Dodds, Legal Head of the Medical Defence Shield, Ms Tista Chakravarty-Gannon, Director Outreach, GMC; Dr. Rajaratnam Mathialagan, Chair HMSC; Mr. Marimouttou Coumarassamy, National Chair BINA (British Indian Nurses Association); Dr N Vinod Kumar, SAS lead.
BAPIO Kings Lynn team: Chair – Dr Siya Sharma, Core committee members – Dr Subramani Durairaj, Dr Raj Shekhar, Dr Hariraj Radhakrishnan, Dr Manoj Thomas, Mr Siva Subramanian, Mr Narayanan Vinod Kumar, Mr V Biju Kiliyanpilakkil, Dr Santosh Gangadharan, Dr Prabir Mitra, Dr. Pallavi Devulapalli, Dr Vandana Bendre, Mr. Sam Jude, Ms. Raji Avvuru.
By- BAPIO Kings Lynn Chair Dr Siya Sharma
Photo courtesy – Dr Prabir Mitra