Panel of Judges
Patrick Vernon is recently appointed Independent Non-Executive Director of Birmingham and Solihull ICS, leading on inequalities and Non-Executive Director for Hertfordshire NHS Trust and Associate Director for Connected Communities for the Centre for Ageing Better and Chair of Citizenship Partnership for HSIB.
In 2012, Patrick was awarded an OBE for tackling health inequalities among the UK’s ethnic minority communities. In 2018, he was selected as one of London’s 1,000 most influential people by the Evening Standard.
In 2020, he established the Majonzi Fund, which provides small grants to families and community organisations to organise commemoration events for individuals from BAME communities who have died of COVID-19 over the last 19 months.
The same year, he was named by British Vogue as one of Britain’s top 20 campaigners and was included in the 2020 Power list of 100 influential Black People in Britain.
He is also a Clore and Winston Churchill Fellow, Fellow of Goodenough College, Fellow at Imperial War Museum, Fellow of Royal Historical Society, and former Associate Fellow for the Department of History of Medicine at Warwick University.
In August 2021, Patrick was appointed by Wolverhampton University as Honorary Professor of cultural heritage and Community Leadership for the Department of Community Development.
Paul has been an HR professional for over 30 years. He has worked in local government, the voluntary sector and the health service – with particular experience in the fields of recruitment, employee relations, employment law and diversity.
When working for Barnardo’s he took on the role of national equality and diversity manager. After a short spell as an HR lead in an NHS trust, he was seconded into the Department of Health and Social Care’s Equality and Diversity Team to help them develop the first national strategy in this area. Paul currently works for NHS Employers – which represents and supports NHS trusts across England – and is helping NHS organisations to embed diversity and inclusion in good practice across the NHS.
He also works on various diversity working groups and initiatives – with bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative – and frequently writes about all aspects of diversity through various social media channels.
Paul was honoured to be named in the 2020 People Management Diversity Power List https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/long-reads/articles/people-management-diversity-inclusion-power-list-2020. He was also named in the Inclusive Companies Diversity Power List 2022/23: https://diversitypowerlist.com/
Dr Shera Chok
Shera is a GP and is the former Chief Medical Officer at NHS Digital. She started the award-winning Shuri Network in 2019 as she is passionate about increasing diversity, innovation and safety and to encourage other women from minority ethnic groups to lead and engage with digital transformation.
She is an advisor to the NHS Race and Health Observatory and is an experienced Medical Director who has worked in leading primary care, commissioning, acute and community health organisations including Barts Health NHS Trust from 2010-16 as the Director of Primary Care. She has developed and implemented health policy as a national advisor on new models of care and Integrated Care Systems with NHS England and advised ministers as a member of the NHS Independent Reconfiguration Panel from 2013-19. She is a member of the Sciana Network for European health leaders.
Shera has volunteered as a clinician in Sudan, Laos, Indonesia and Greece with NGOs working in war and disaster zones. She studied at the Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard School of Public Health, focusing on quality improvement, community engagement and leading change. She has completed an M.B.A., M.A. in Inter-professional Education and a Nuffield Trust Fellowship on cross-organisational learning.
In 2023 Shera was awarded the international Richard von Weizsäcker Fellowship by the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin in 2023 to examine the German digital health strategy and help develop new insights and perspectives that will help both health systems deliver more equitable and innovative care.
Patricia started her nursing career on a medical ward in 1994 and, after a year, worked on an oncology/ haematology ward. After nine years there, she then became a haematology specialist nurse. She moved to London in 2014 to take up a Head of Nursing role in cancer at St George’s, before becoming a Matron at University College London Hospital (UCLH).
Throughout her career, she has aided colleagues in their career progression. “Lift as you climb” is her philosophy which she promotes by encouraging people of colour to apply for job opportunities.
She is also passionate about the digital agenda and is an active member of the Shuri Network, the NHS care network of women from minority ethnic groups in digital health.
Some of Patricia’s past accomplishments include being the founding member and Chair of the UCLH BAME Network for almost 400 members.
She joined The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust as a Divisional Nurse Director in February 2020, where she made a significant impact as a champion for equality and inclusion.
Her current role is Deputy Director of nursing for NHSE/I (NW region) nursing and the AHP workforce team. She has a diploma and degree in nursing and an MSc in Cancer studies. She is also a qualified mentor.
Fiona Daniel is the CEO and Founder of FD2i Inclusion Business Partners, which works with companies across the private, public, and voluntary sectors to implement a culture of inclusion across all aspects of their business.
Before running her own business, Daniel had spent many years shaping, growing, and leading the national and global diversity and inclusion agenda for one of the largest banking and financial organisations in the world. She was the first Global Head of Employee Networks, a Senior Global D&I Relationship Manager, interim Global Head of D&I and the first Head of D&I for HSBC UK.
At HSBC, she was also the UK Lead for Ethnicity and founder of the first Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority employee network and its Chair for three years.
She is a proud carer, a Non-Executive Director at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, a Women on Boards Ambassador, a presenter, career coach, mentor, awards judge, diversity and inclusion thought leader and highly sought speaker and panellist.
She has been named one of the most influential D&I Leaders of 2020 in the Hive Learning List, a peer learning platform. She was also named one of the Most Influential Black Women in Business to Follow in 2021 by CIO Views Magazine.
Prof Anton Emmanuel
Professor Anton Emmanuel obtained his medical degree from London University.
He is a Professor of Neuro-Gastroenterology at University College London and Consultant Gastroenterologist at University College Hospital at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
His current clinical work encompasses being director of the GI Physiology Unit at University College Hospital and providing specialist gastroenterology service for patients with neurological illnesses. He currently supervises five postgraduate research fellows.
He was appointed Head of the Workforce Race Equality Standard in December 2020, which was developed as a tool to measure improvements in the workforce for BAME staff.
In that role, he is moving the focus of the WRES towards embedding local accountability with organisations for their data. A key component is to develop WRES metrics that reflect on the individual experience of staff in trusts and systems to implement evidence-based actions. The longer-term work is to develop the NHS’s first race equality strategy.
He was appointed as editor in chief of Clinical Medicine and Commentary, the journals of the Royal College of Physicians, having served a similar role for eight years at Frontline Gastroenterology. He is deeply committed to developing the journals as a valued asset for members of the College.
Prof Parag Singhal
Parag after finishing his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in India came to the UK to pursue higher training.
During his training, he completed his widely quoted research on Hepatic Glucose production which paved way for the newer treatments in Diabetes.
He is the Executive Director of BTA along with Hon National Secretary of BAPIO.
As Divisional Director for 8 years, he embraced a business-like approach to run the NHS, bringing entrepreneurship and innovation and demonstrated quality within limited resources.
This led him to Create Ournhsourconcern- an independent think tank that is offering a different narrative to sustain the NHS.
He is currently Hon Professor of Medicine at University of Bolton, Visiting Professor at University of South Wales and Specialist Advisor CQC, Care Quality Commission.
Parag is also Senior Examiner Royal College of Physicians and Founder Director/Chair of Indo UK 2 plus 2 programme, Academic Advisor to American University of Antigua and Co-Chair Health Committee, PHDCCI Council member BMA South West, UK.
He is also a Board Director Medical Defence Shield, UK and Member Indo UK Govt Taskforce for recruitment of Health Professionals.
Prof. Mahendra Patel
Professor Mahendra Patel is an award-winning pharmacist and academic with professorial roles at universities including the University of Sussex, Universiti Sains Malaysia, and many more.
He is a founding member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and has served as its elected national pharmacy board, assembly member, and treasurer for many years.
His contributions in advancing pharmacy have been regularly recognised, receiving a Fellowship from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and subsequently its prestigious President’s Charter Award.
He is one of the national leads at the University of Oxford investigating treatment options for COVID-19 in the community and helping trial recruitment be inclusive and diverse with work reported in the Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal.
He is highly active in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the NHS.
In 2019, he received an Outstanding Service Award to BAPIO and soon after became BAPIO Pharmacy Lead. He is now a formal advisor on EDI to many national pharmacy organisations, including a Professional Advisor to the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, NHSE and EDI Lead for the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists.
Mahendra was also recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2022 for services to pharmacy nationally and internationally as an Officer of the British Empire (OBE).
Jacqueline A. Hinds
Jacqueline A. Hinds is the Founder and CEO of the Society of Emotional Intelligence International UK & Europe and Board Member and International Liaison for the Society of Emotional Intelligence International, USA.
She is a certified emotional intelligence coach and leadership consultant with over 25 years of knowledge, skills and expertise within the human resource development arena. She has worked within key corporate and public sector organisations.
She is passionate about people and helping them realise, unlock and release their true potential to be the best they can be. Whether through coaching, personal development, or emotional and cultural intelligence training, her diverse skills and abilities enable her to provide a bespoke service tailored specifically for her clients’ needs.
Jacqueline, an international keynote speaker, has presented at medical conferences in the Netherlands, UK, Italy, and beyond.
She was honoured to present at the Annual 8th International Emotional Intelligence Conference in Florida, USA. She shared her knowledge of emotional intelligence and its role in the transformation and organisational change initiatives within two of the largest merged NHS Trusts in the UK and Europe; the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Barts Health NHS Trust, and across a range of high profile corporate organisations.
Prof Calvin Moorley
Professor Calvin Moorley is a Professor for Diversity & Social Justice, Adult Nursing Department at London South Bank University.
His research focuses on the interplay of gender, culture, ethnicity, and health, and he has an academic background in public health and health promotion.
He is a registered nurse and practices in intensive care therapy and is also a holder of the Mary Seacole Award for Leadership in Nursing. His secondary education was completed in Trinidad & Tobago, his birth nation.
Since graduating from the University of Essex as an adult registered nurse, Calvin has followed a clinical academic career, remaining close to clinical nursing, particularly in critical care.
He collaborates nationally and internationally, including working with Trinidad, Jamaica, and Australia teams. He publishes widely in various nursing journals.
Calvin’s most recent works include a national study on healthcare workers’ susceptibility to COVID-19; knowledge, attitude and beliefs on sex among Black Africans; psychosexual experiences of FGM survivors and experience of strokes among Caribbean populations in the UK; and the use of social media among nursing students in the Caribbean and UK.
Diana Belfon has acquired decades of experience in business and administration and has held various management and leadership roles since joining the NHS. She is currently Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership.
Previously, she was the Equality & Engagement Manager for Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Before joining the National Health Service in 2003, Diana worked for an international company in the commercial industry.
Diana has a wealth of experience, including expertise in workforce race equality and is the co-chair of the Visible Leaders Network for NHS Midlands and Life-Long Learning.
She is also the Director of Central and East Northampton Citizen Advice and the Director of Northamptonshire Rights Equality Council.
In addition to these impressive roles, she is also a board member of the nationally recognised Health Service Journal (HSJ) Advisory Board and an HSJ Judge, focused on advocating and promoting best practices.
Diana’s current roles have a clear focus on promoting and driving forward the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda at local, regional, and national levels, focusing on advocating and promoting best practices. As a healthcare professional, her ultimate goal is to help effectively deliver quality service to the communities of Northamptonshire.
Owen is the Senior Implementation Lead in the NHS Race and Health Observatory. He joined the NHS in 2004 as a Mental Health Occupational Therapist (OT).
As a senior NHS manager, he has in-depth experience working in clinical, informatics, equality and transformation roles.
He is passionate about harnessing data and technology to reduce inequality and improve patient care and staff experiences. He believes that diversity, equality, equity, inclusion, and belonging are crucial in healthcare and not simply ‘nice to haves.’
Before working in the UK, Owen worked as an OT in his native Zimbabwe and Botswana. He is also an alumnus of the NHS Graduate Scheme specialising in health informatics.
Anthony is a dual qualified solicitor and barrister with more than 35 years of practice. He joined the NMC in 2018, where he is an Assistant Director of Casework Presentation and Preparation.
He was previously the Legal & Enforcement Director of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). Anthony was always interested in human rights. As the Legal Director of the CRE, he worked with the EU on developing European legislation and was one of the founders of Euroneb (the umbrella body for equality and human rights bodies now renamed Equinet.
He also worked with the then government on setting up the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
On the abolition of the CRE, he transferred over to the EHRC to be the Director of Casework & Litigation with responsibility for key area functions such as its Casework and Representation Function – bringing human rights and equality cases on behalf of victims of these abuses; he ran the Equalities Mediation Service – a national mediation service for equalities disputes; the Programme of funding for Law Centres and CABx, and the Air Travel Complaints Process.
Anthony has written and edited a number of publications including the Blackstone’s Guide to the Equality Act 2010 which is in its 4th edition