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Windrush 75: Everyone needs to champion equality in research

We spoke to CRN South London Inclusivity Panel member Patricia Ejiofor to mark the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush arriving in Britain. Patricia said things have improved since 1948, but there is more work to do to achieve true equality for all in health and social care research.

What is your message to people on Windrush 75?

Windrush 75 is about remembering and passing on the stories to the next generation about how our fore parents were invited to come to this country at a time when the NHS was in its inception in post-war Britain. They undertook a variety of jobs that were considered menial, dirty, and unfavourable positions with low pay grades. Still, these were in line with strict governmental policies within the health industries at that time. They staffed the NHS and helped to rebuild the nation's workforce. Our fore parents overcame classic cases of prejudice and discrimination to build positive change in society. The NHS needs all of us to continue to play our part in helping to root out prejudice and discrimination.

How proud are you to champion inclusion as a CRN South London's Inclusivity Panel member?

I am proud to be a descendant of the Windrush Generation, who has grown up in Britain. I'm passionate about helping a diversity of people to participate in health and social care research, which provides better treatments, better care and support to people who are usually under the radar. Helping these groups is especially important for inclusion.

Why is EDI in research important?

We need Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in research, so we can find accessible ways to reach out and ensure we are more accommodating of people's needs and meeting those needs in a respectful and dignified manner.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Things are better than they were, but there is still room for improvement to achieve true equality.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.