London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Dr. Agatha Nortley-Meshe is a practising GP in South London and is also an Assistant Medical Director for the London Ambulance Service (LAS) where she leads on integrated urgent care. Agatha is an inspirational leader at the LAS and, in her role as Head of Integrated Urgent Care (clinical), she provides strategic clinical leadership for the Trust’s NHS111 services, which cover 40% of London.
Agatha chairs the LAS’s Black and Minority (BME) Ethnic Network and is the Trust’s clinical lead for the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES). She also sits on the national ambulance BME forum.
In 2018 she completed the NHS WRES Expert programme as part of cohort 1, and has used this experience to champion the BME agenda within LAS, making a real difference to the working lives of BME staff and volunteers.
Agatha is passionate about supporting others to develop confidence and leadership skills. From her own experience, she is very much aware of the inequalities facing people from BME backgrounds in terms of career progression.
She says: “Although society has come a long way, people from BME backgrounds still have to work that bit harder to move up the career ladder: you can't be average, you have to excel”.
She is keen to support others to do just that and says: “It’s a case of putting yourself out there, constantly developing your skills and making the connections you need in order to move forward”.
She is a role model to colleagues of BME backgrounds, saying: “Where people can see someone who looks like them in a senior position it reinforces the idea that they can achieve their own aspirations. As leaders from BME backgrounds, we have to be visible, approachable, provide support and open doors for others to develop and excel”.
Agatha is a trained mentor, and over the years has provided informal coaching and mentoring to support personal and career development for healthcare colleagues. This includes providing mentoring to women from several different countries via the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.