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Terms of Reference

Introduction and Context

The Alliance of Senior Kerala Nurses (ASKeN) is a non-political and non-profitable forum aimed at addressing the challenges faced by Kerala-origin nurses in the UK. This forum offers a platform for senior Kerala nurses to connect and collaborate and provide pastoral support to new and existing nurses in the UK. The permanent register data report published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in September 2022 indicated 42,570 nurses trained in India (NMC, 2022). This constitutes 35% of all the non-EU nurses on the NMC permanent register. In 2021-22, 9769 Indian nurses joined the NMC which makes up 42% of all internationally trained professionals (NMC, 2022). Two third of these nurses are believed to be of Kerala origin. According to the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) report 2022, nurses from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, including Keralaorigin nurses, experience higher levels of discrimination and harassment at work compared to their white counterparts. In the UK, Kerala-origin nurses face several challenges during their career progression. The challenges start from the beginning of their career including insufficient support during the transition period to adapt to the UK healthcare system and workplace culture. Additionally, there is a gross under-representation at senior levels, particularly at band 8a and above or equivalent roles in academia and research. This in turn leads to a limited number of visible role models, adversely impacting Kerala nurses' aspirations to go higher up in the ladder. The ASKeN will aim to address these challenges by providing a support system for Kerala-origin nurses to connect with each other, share experiences, offer support including mentoring and sharing career development opportunities. Furthermore, ASKeN will act as a source of pastoral support for new nurses coming to the UK, helping them to navigate the cultural and professional differences they may encounter. Moreover, the network will be working towards increasing representation at senior level 8a and above in the NHS and equivalent roles in the private sector, academia and research by coaching, role modelling, sharing leadership training opportunities and advocacy for Kerala-origin nurses.

Vision Statements

1.To be nationally recognised as a forum that addresses health inequalities and workforce challenges for Kerala-origin nurses.

 

2. To create a strong and visible presence and be the strategic voice of Senior Kerala Nurses in the UK at local, regional, national and international levels by working collaboratively with the key stakeholders including the NMC, RCN, NHS confederation and other national organisations that influence policy-making at all levels.

 

3. To be an effective and inclusive network of senior nurses of Kerala origin where the members thrive in their roles and careers and contribute successfully to the NHS, and wider healthcare ecosystem including research and academic sectors.

 

4. To lead and facilitate professional and personal development and nurture talent by supporting Kerela-origin nurses to progress in their career in the UK Healthcare Industry, NHSEI and/or academic positions in the Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs).

Values and Principles

Aspiring, Supportive, Kind, Enabling, Nurturing 

 

1. Engage and lead in a compassionate manner promoting equity, diversity and inclusion -(kind)

2. Recognise the leader in each individual and help them to enhance their skills to be more effective in their role - (enabling, supportive, nurturing)

 

3. Support one another by creating a confidential and psychologically safe environment for nurses to thrive and bring their best and authentic selves to work - (aspiring)

Objectives

The primary objectives of ASKeN are to:

 

1. Advise the key national driving agencies on strategic inclusive policies.

 

2. Influence the delivery of policies and practices that impact on Kerala-origin nurses as they form a significant section of the workforce.

 

3. Review the Department of Health, NHS, local trust policies and procedures that create barriers for career progression and personal development and make recommendations based on the evidence to the Department of Health, NHS, and local trusts to remove or modify these to ensure equity for all.

 

4. Provide a specific focus on the under-representation of Kerala Nurses within the very senior positions at strategic levels and to offer solutions to address the issue.

 

5. Lead and promote a culture of fairness and equity where Kerala nurses are celebrated and promoted to grow to their full potential.

 

6. Share information on opportunities such as CPD funding for the personal and professional development of the nurses.

 

7. Inspire and equip aspiring future generations and leaders through coaching, career mentoring and pastoral support.

 

8. Act as role models to uplift and maintain the reputation of the nursing profession and the scope of practice in Clinical, Academic, Management & Research domains.

 

9. Be a point of contact for nurses of Kerala origin and guide them through the challenges while helping to escalate the concerns to the relevant parties to try and help diffuse/resolve the situation.

 

10. Celebrate success and share our learning outside of the network.

 

11. Promote cultural awareness and celebrate our diversity, with due consideration of all protected characteristics.

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