As an NHS Trust we want to stand up and speak in support of #BlackLivesMatter - for our staff, our patients and their families and for all of society. Here's a very personal message from our Chairman, Richard Crompton:
I’m white, 62 years old, an ex police officer, and since I saw the footage of George Floyd being choked to death on a street in Minneapolis I have felt deeply troubled and very angry.
I’m angry because a black man has been murdered by a white man in a uniform that I have been proud to wear.
I’m angry because other men in that same uniform stood by a watched.
I’m angry because I know that this has happened before, many, many times.
I’m angry because I spent the best part of my life working alongside far better police officers than I ever was to improve UK policing, and it’s still not good enough.
I’m angry because all of that work, and all of the work done every day of the year by some of our bravest men and women, can be trashed by a criminal in uniform.
But it was 4000 miles away.
It’s not the same here.
You are not a cop any more.
What right do you have to pontificate?
We live in a connected world - we are connected by technology, but more importantly by our history and our shared values.
When I joined the Metropolitan Police in 1976 racism was overt, visceral, and it played out on the streets of London every day. When I left policing in 2012 the Service had been transformed, but I know that bad things still happen, and I know that complacency is the enemy of progress.
I took an oath:
I do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept ...
That oath is still important to me.
I have no right to pontificate - my experience is partial and out of date. But to say nothing seems to me to be the worst option to take. I’m the chairman of a hospital Trust with a wonderfully diverse workforce, Our black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues face a higher risk from Covid19. We face health inequalities as a society, and I think you are entitled to know how I feel.
So this is how I feel
Black lives matter.
Black lives matter to the Board of this great hospital.
Black lives should matter to all of us.