Equality campaigner Professor Aneez Esmail won a lifetime achievement award at the General Practice Awards in London last night.
The academic, who is a lecturer at the University of Manchester, was presented the award by good friend Dr Sam Everington.
In 1993, he and Dr Everington – now the chair of NHS Tower Hamlets CCG in east London – produced a seminal study into discrimination in the NHS jobs market, which found white candidates were twice as likely to be shortlisted for a hospital job as BME applicants with the same qualifications. They were both threatened with arrest for fraudulent job applications.
Professor Esmail has made waves more recently when his research into the MRCGP exam – commissioned by the GMC – found that ‘subjective bias due to racial discrimination in the clinical skills assessment’ may contribute to the gap in success rates between white and black and minority ethnic (BME) candidates.
And just last month, he published research that found that GPs trained abroad are working the longest hours and in the poorest conditions.
As well as his academic work, Professor Esmail is a GP at an inner-city Manchester practice, having graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1982.
Presenting the award, Dr Everington said his work ‘has had a massive impact on the lives of doctors and their families, in this country’, adding: ‘He has been a champion for a generation of ethnic minority doctors who came to work in this country and gave such great service to the NHS and a fighter for fairness and justice for all of us.
‘He is a great leader who betters his environment, inspires and supports his team, always leads with a positive attitude and encourages and builds the next generation of leaders.’
Professor Esmail told Pulse after his win that he was ‘quite taken aback’ by the nomination, which he said came ‘completely out of the blue’.
When asked how he feels about his win, Professor Esmail said: ‘Quite humbled really actually. I never expected it. I’m just so delighted that I got an award like this and it’s a recognition, not only of what I’ve done but also of the people I mentioned in my speech so I’m really happy.’
He added: ‘It give you inspiration to carry on doing what you do actually and it’s great that you’re recognised by your peers and your colleagues. I’m really proud of that.’
In his acceptance speech, Professor Esmail thanked his wife, children and his team. He said: ‘I work with both academics and people in my practice and I think without them also – and we recognise me but really I wish there was a team award for the person who get this because with out those teams, we wouldn’t really succeed’.
Professor Aneez Esmail wins award