To mark Black History Month, the NHS in London has today revealed 36 individuals to be ‘the faces’ of NHS Trusts in the capital.

These inspiring people were nominated by Trust staff and all have a connection with the Trust or its local community. Their stories have been added to an online map of London.

Carmen Brooks-Johnson (pictured) was chosen to represent St George’s for her contribution to midwifery at the Trust.

Carmen, a retired St George’s midwife, was a much-loved and respected member of staff – so much so, that our birth centre is named after her – the Carmen Suite.

She was born in Jamaica and came to England in 1961 to train as a nurse. A few years after qualifying, she decided to train as a midwife. She helped prepare the new delivery suite for opening in 1979, with the aim of supporting women with their unique birth preferences. Carmen took great pride in what was achieved, and was very happy to be nominated.

Chief Executive Jacqueline Totterdell said:

“Black Londoners have made a huge contribution to the success of the NHS, and so I’m really pleased that Trusts are honouring inspiring individuals in this way. Black History Month is a great way to learn more about the people who have helped shape so much of our society and culture.

“I’ve met Carmen, and she is caring, dedicated, and compassionate – a fabulous figurehead for St George’s.

The list also includes Peckham born actor John Boyega, pioneering nurse Mary Seacole, and surgeon Martin Griffiths.

Earlier this month, London’s NHS published a new Workforce Race Strategy to improve the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) workers in the capital. The strategy, developed in partnership with NHS staff from across all levels, roles and professions, outlines 15 evidence-based recommendations to be implemented over a span of 10 years.

A number of these recommendations have been incorporated into the Trust’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and will help shape improvements we make across the next 12 months. In addition, a member of our staff will be joining the London WRES Experts Programme in the new year to further our commitment and develop our understanding of race inequality and the challenges faced by our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues.