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General Practice Staff and Allies EDI Network

EDI network

The Chief People Officer of the NHS, Prerana Issar, has set a challenge for every NHS organisation to have an equality, diversity and inclusion staff network in place and for every network to be driving, thriving and influencing  with the help of real support from their organisation and through helping each other.

In December 2020, NHS Birmingham and Solihill CCG established the General Practice Staff and Allies Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Network, where primary care staff throughout Birmingham and Solihull were invited to joint the launch event to mark the occasion.

The aim of this network is to:

  1. Improve equality, health and well-being outcomes for all NHS staff and patients.
  2. Support GPs and their practices in providing a safe space for their staff and empowering them to care for their BAME staff better creating an inclusive atmosphere.
  3. Help our CCG at Board level to help make recruitment fairer, support talent management and career progression of BAME staff.
  4. Work to increase understanding, hold our leaders to account and make things fairer for all.
  5. Work with the other Networks – CCG and STP and local networks to provide joined up care for BAME staff and patients in Birmingham and Solihull.
  6. Develop the leadership skills of the Clinical Leads and Health Inequalities Champion.


  • Meet the leads of the General Practice Staff and Allies EDI Network

    Dr Onyinye Okonkwo – Clinical Lead

    My name is Dr Onyinye Okonkwo and I am GP Partner at The Wand Medical centre in Highgate which is one of the most deprived areas of Birmingham with health inequalities.

    I am an educator and I am committed to lifelong learning – I believe knowledge is power and together we can help each other learn more effectively and empower ourselves to be the best we can be for our patients

    I am an undergraduate CBM clinical tutor for University of Birmingham and GP trainer for South VTS Scheme as well as an RCA examiner for the RCGP and  part of the Educational work stream of the RCGP BAME group

    Locally, I represent South Locality on the Birmingham and Solihull Medicines Management and Optimisation Group.

    As the Clinical lead for the network, I am hoping we can facilitate the creation of a vibrant BAME network across BSOL General Practice that we all feel we can belong to irrespective of our job role and where we can grow together ,learn and develop to our fullest potential.

     Dr Rupesh Jha – Vice Clinical Lead

    I  work as a full time GP at Kingsbury Road Surgery. I have been a GP over 12 years  and  keen to make it a desired vocation once again. I  am also involved with GP training and teach medical students from Aston Medical School. I also work for the CQC  as a GP Specialist Advisor  and have been the Clinical Director for GOSK PCN up until recently.

    I am excited to be part of the General Practice Staff and Allies EDI Network and would work towards a goal where no  primary care  BAME  staff member is disadvantaged, to create a level playing field  for all across all job roles.

     Saiqa Parveen – Managerial Lead

    I am a Business Manager for Iridium Medical Practice and Manager for Bordesley East PCN.

    My journey started working in the private sector for several large companies within the finance departments following the completion of my law degree over 17 years ago. I soon found myself working in the primary care and have remained with the NHS ever since. 

    I have worked in many roles across the NHS including acute and community. My passion has always remained in primary care and it brings me great joy supporting the NHS especially through this unprecedented time of change and uncertainty.

    Much of my time outside of work is spent around my two boys and studying for my MBA.

    I have lived in an ethnically diverse area most of my life and I have seen the impact that COVID-19 and BAME inequality has had on the most vulnerable among us. I feel privileged to be in a position to be able to support colleagues and be a voice to champion this cause.

     Tracey Gardner – Managerial Lead

    My name is Tracey Gardner, and I am a Practice Manager working in Small Heath. I have worked in General practice since 1988. I started as a receptionist and worked my way up to Management which has given me a very comprehensive insight into the working life and experiences of working in practices.

    I am eager and excited to engage with staff at all levels to gain your trust in order to help address issues that affect BAME staff which I have experienced myself, as I feel awareness of the problems can really affect the solution.

    By staff being open and honest in the safe, confidential space that will be provided in our Staff BAME Network, we hope to have a unique insight into your experiences which can help to narrow the inequalities gap.

     I am eager and committed to help guide staff now, not only with their health and wellbeing during this unprecedented time, but towards new opportunities they may not have previously been able to access.

    I look forward to working with you all.

    Dr Aftab Arif - Clinical Lead for Workforce, Resilience and Education

    A graduate from The University of Birmingham since 2005, I am currently a GP Principal at Hall Green Health since 2014 and completed my GP training in Sutton Coldfield in 2010. Aspiring to be a GP from a young age, I have gained inspiration from my family and a desire to serve the community in which I grew up in.

    Within my role as a GP, I am also the clinical lead for Respiratory Medicine having obtained a Masters in this discipline in 2014. I have a keen interest in systems and processes within practice hence I lead on aspects of governance.  Enthusiastic about teaching, I have been an Undergraduate Trainer for Year 3 and 5 medical students for The University of Birmingham. I am also a trainer for GP trainees on the South VTS, and support Foundation Year 2 doctors on placement from UHB. I have been an appraiser for NHS EI for about 4 years.

    Outside clinical commitments, I am the Clinical Lead for Workforce Resilience and Education for BSOL CCG since 2017. The role involves supporting workforce initiatives across BSOL System, leading an award winning team called The Peer Support Team, and the development on BSOL wide educational programme. In addition, I represent general practice at the People Board for both BSOL system and region. I have worked for the Care Quality Commission as a Specialist Advisor for 5 years and support CQC with re design of regulatory priorities.

    On a personal note, I am married to a GP and we have three young children. A significant amount of time is spent ferrying my children to various activities throughout the week. I enjoy the great outdoors, climbing, cycling and running.

    Fun fact: I am featuring in the current series of ‘GP Behind Closed Doors’. This was filmed in 2019 and is being aired on Channel 5.

  • PCN Health Inequalities Champion

    PCN Health Inequalities Champion Role

    As part of the PCN Development Plan, PCNs are asked to identify a Health Inequalities Champion by 31 December, to focus on the following two objectives:

    1. Enhancing  population health management locally with a focus on prevention recognising the inequality in relation to COVID-19 and those groups who may have been disproportionally disadvantaged. 
    2. Interface with the General Practice BAME Staff Network.


    Role outline

    The role can be applied for by any clinical or non-clinical staff within the general practice workforce. The Health Inequalities Champions will support practices to:

    • Proactively review and ensure the completeness of patient ethnicity data.
    • Share best practice on recording patient and staff ethnicity data, and improve the recording of ethnicity.
    • Confirm the ethnicity of the adults who are eligible for flu vaccination and groups who are also typically likely to be at risk of COVID-19.
    • Improve GP registration for those without proof of identity or address.
    • Share best practice on standardisation of COVID-19 risk assessments, and outcomes thereof.
    • Liaise directly with the Clinical and Managerial Leads for the BSol General Practice BAME Staff Network.



    The role will be reimbursed at 1 session a month from January 2020 to April 2021 and paid directly to the practice where the role is hosted. There is a total of £340 available for each monthly session.  


    PCN Health Inequality Champions by PCN

    PCN  PCN Health Inequality Champion
    Alliance of Sutton Practices PCN Matthew Cox
    Balsall Heath, Sparkhill and Moseley PCN Miriam Mockbill
    Birmingham East Central PCN Suneel Nadella
    Bordesley East PCN Dr Ashish Chopra
    Bournville and Northfield PCN Harprit Bilkhu
    Community Care Hall Green PCN Andilla Jones
    Edgbaston SDS PCN Lesline Thompson
    Gosk PCN Abi Mardenborough
    GPS Healthcare PCN Balvinder Devi
    Harborne PCN Dr Atif Hassan
    Kingstanding, Erdington and Nechells PCN Mangalpreet Singh
    MMP PCN Kaiser Lone
    Moseley, Billesley and Yardley Wood PCN Sophia Raja
    Nechells, Saltley and Alum Rock PCN Amie-Jayne Poll
    North Birmingham PCN Dr Roshan Khuroo
    North Solihull PCN Alex Ajao
    Pershore PCN Norman Ahmed
    Quinton and Harborne PCN Dr Mehreen Ali
    Shard End and Kitts Green PCN Dr Naresh Aggarwal
    Small Heath PCN Dr Iram Khattak
    Smartcare Central PCN Mahrukh Hussain
    Smartcare Kings Heath PCN Joanne Morgan
    Solihull Healthcare Partnership Dr Nazish Murtaza
    Solihull Rural PCN Rina Bennett
    Solihull South Central PCN Hema Patel
    South Birmingham Alliance PCN Reyaz Mehta
    Sutton Coldfield Group Practice PCN Dr Jean-Claude Desveaux
    Washwood Heath PCN Ahmad Jamil
    Weoley and Rubery PCN Durratulmaz Bharmal
    West Birmmingham PCN  Dr Oruj Alam
  • Birmingham and Solihull General Practice Staff Allies EDI Network Meeting Schedule

    Following the launch event that took place on 16 December 2020, all meetings of the General Practice BAME Staff Network will take place on the third Wednesday of every one month, 1pm – 2pm, via Microsoft Teams.

     Upcoming dates:

    • 19 January 2022
    • 16 February 2022
    • 16 March 2022



  • Birmingham and Solihull General Practice Staff Allies EDI Network Meeting Presentations and Recordings
  • Contact us

    Dr Onyinye Okonkwo

     Clinical Lead BSol General Practice Staff & Allies EDI Network

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     Dr Rupesh Jha 

    Deputy Clinical Lead BSol General Practice Staff & Allies EDI Network

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    Tracey Gardner

    Managerial Lead BSol General Practice Staff & Allies EDI Network

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    Saiqa Parveen

    Managerial Lead BSol General Practice Staff & Allies EDI Network

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     Dr Aftab Arif

    Clinical Lead Workforce, Education and Resilience

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    Ravy Gabrria-Nivas

    Head of Primary Care Transformation

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    Network email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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