Noma and Nomagugu Ndhlovu – a management twin sister act
Throughout Black History Month we are celebrating the achievements of black colleagues within our Trust.
Noma and Nomagugu Ndhlovu are twin sisters and rising stars.
Noma Ndhlovu is team manager for crisis and eating disorder CAMHS in Kirklees and Calderdale
“I started my career in Birmingham as a staff nurse in forensics. I then joined the Trust in 2006 as a staff nurse in forensic LD. From there I moved to a band 6 post in rehab and recovery, then another band 6 in mental health liaison. I then became a band 7 ward manager on Sandal ward at the Bretton centre before taking up my current role.
“I’m originally from Zimbabwe and came over with twin sister. As a black African nurse in NHS I have had positive and negative experiences.
“I have had patients who’ve asked not to be treated by a black nurse. Either they’ve thought my skills won’t be not up to par or else concerned I won’t be able to understand them. Thankfully every time this has happened I’ve been well supported by colleagues who have politely put patients right.
“I’ve also had ‘micro aggressions’ from colleagues. This has included comments about my African hair looking like a microphone and touching it – inappropriate curiosity. I’ve also had comments about my clothes – been described as ‘flamboyant’ and told by one woman that my clothes are “so bright you can spot me a mile away”. I guess I’ve dealt with this by building my own resilience.
“Things have improved over the years. In general younger people tend be more understanding of diversity. I’ve also been impressed by the efforts of older colleagues to reflect on behaviours and embrace a more progressive equalities agenda in the workplace.
“What I have enjoyed most in my career is working with wide range of service users. No two days are the same, no two patients are the same, and it’s enabled me to adapt and grow as a nurse. I get great satisfaction in providing care and helping them to live more fulfilling lives.
“I’ve been with our Trust almost 15 years and benefitted from a lot of experiences and opportunities. I’ve also had some great mentors and role models. Being well supported and encouraged has helped me to develop as a leader and given me the confidence to encourage others.
“If I could change one thing in the NHS it would be representation. Considering the large numbers of black employees, there are still far too few black people in significant decision making positions.”
Nomagugu Ndhlovu is associate quality and governance lead for Wakefield CAMHS
“I have worked for the Trust for approximately six years but I have been qualified for almost 15 years. I initially began working in the NHS as a support worker in Derbyshire and went on to complete my RMN training at the University of Nottingham.
“After qualifying I quickly secured a band 5 post (or as they were know in those days a D grade post) with Derbyshire Mental Health Services NHS trust. I worked there for a total of 6 years before moving to Yorkshire and joining the Trust in 2014.
“I worked as a band 5 on Ward 18 at the Priestley Unit for three years then took up the post of clinical team leader at Enfield Down in rehab and recovery services in 2017.
“I took up my current role in June 2020 just as the world had been thrust into the COVID-19 pandemic. I have found it challenging, but also a huge learning curve, having to work from home and develop and improve my time management.
“My role is mainly about providing support and advice regarding governance issues such as policies, procedures, care provision and ensuring that we as a team maintain good quality mental health services for young people. Through my role I am able to inform patient care, practice and work towards improving services for young people in Wakefield.
“I feel proud to be working in this leadership role as a person from a BAME background. I feel it is important to show and highlight the huge contribution that BAME staff from both clinical and non-clinical make to care provision. I also feel it is important to elevate and highlight the presence of BAME staff in leadership roles and also to encourage the development and talent of BAME staff.
“With all the recent media coverage around race and equality, I feel there is a great need to learn from and about the challenges that BAME colleagues face and how these can be the learning point for fostering change and developing better working relations and understanding.
“There is also a great need to emphasize and develop the importance of inclusion of BAME staff not only during Black History Month but throughout the year.
“In my spare time I enjoy a good run to de-stress and I am currently trying yoga classes as well.”