Spotlight On: Dan Ibeziako, Head of Engagement, Communications and Marketing, on being seen as a COVID-19 leader
As part of our Black History Month #ProudToBe celebrations, we spoke to Dan Ibeziako, Head of Engagement, Communications and Marketing, about his work leading on COVID-19 vaccination communications.
“I am currently supporting Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group with the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme and my work involves encouraging the public to take up the offer of the vaccination. This ranges from our elderly population right through to our youngest cohorts and those members of the public who are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable.
“The role also includes liaising with our Local Authority and Healthwatch partners to ensure they are armed with the latest information on the vaccination programme and all people across BLMK have as much information as possible to make an informed choice when it comes to the vaccine.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned from the pandemic is the adverse effects it has on some of our ethnic minority populations and working with them to ensure people are aware of the virus and trying to mitigate any issues they have. Obviously, the hands, face, space message and trying to encourage people to follow the guidance especially if they’re from populations with higher adverse outcomes.
“When it comes to the vaccine, some of our black and ethnic minority communities are hesitant and I think, for me, it’s been incredibly important to not only get the message out but also have those conversations with members within my own community. Working with partners across BLMK, we are learning from people’s hesitancy and trying to alleviate that to give them as much information as possible.
“My advice to anyone wanting to be a leader is to promote yourself and take opportunities that may be out of your comfort zone. Those are the things that people will notice when you push yourself.
“Each October the NHS celebrations Black History Month and I’m pleased and happy to be part of that. I, myself, have been working within the NHS for over a decade and the influence that black people have can be seen right across all spheres of the NHS consultants, to nurses, to midwives and even in our own CCG.
“I think it’s important that the history of black employees within the NHS is taught about and discussed. I think it’s important for people to get an understanding of that history.”