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New study into career barriers facing mental health nurses

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The 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 an academic.

Deborah Isaac, a senior lecturer at the University of Greenwich and former mental health nurse, will carry out the research with a Mary Seacole Leadershp Award worth up to £12,500.

“I want to work with mental health NHS staff to identify the barriers they face”

Deborah Isaac

Ms Isaac, who is currently studying for a doctorate, said: “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,” she said.

“I want to work with mental health NHS staff to identify the barriers they face in their career progression,” said Ms Isaac.

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 the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association.

University of Derby

New study into career barriers facing mental health nurses

Deborah Isaac

The awards are named after Mary Seacole, the nursing pioneer from the 1850s who recently had a statue unveiled of her in London after a long fundraising campaign.

Ms Isaac added: “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,” she said. “Gaining an award bearing her name makes it even more gratifying.”

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