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Pop star Dua Lipa pays tribute to Dame Elizabeth Anionwu at Brit Awards

Pioneering nurse welcomes high profile support for profession and nurses’ fair pay campaign

Pioneering nurse welcomes high profile support for profession and nurses fair pay campaign

Nursing professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu said pop star Dua Lipa blew her mind when she paid tribute to her after being named best British female of the year at this years Brit Awards.

At the music industry event on 11 May, winners were given a secondary award to honour someone else they thought worthy. Dua Lipa, who took home best female solo artist and best album, dedicated hers to Professor Anionwu.

Send a message that we all support a fair pay rise for our front line

She has spent her stellar nursing career fighting racial injustice, the pop

Pioneering nurse welcomes high profile support for profession and nurses’ fair pay campaign

Dua Lipa dedicated her Brit Award to Dame Elizabeth Anionwu

Nursing professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu said pop star Dua Lipa ‘blew her mind’ when she paid tribute to her after being named best British female of the year at this year’s Brit Awards.

At the music industry event on 11 May, winners were given a secondary award to honour someone else they thought worthy. Dua Lipa, who took home best female solo artist and best album, dedicated hers to Professor Anionwu.

‘Send a message that we all support a fair pay rise for our front line’

‘She has spent her stellar nursing career fighting racial injustice,’ the pop star said in her acceptance speech. ‘She’s also said there is a massive disparity between gratitude and respect for front-line workers.’

The singer also called on the audience at the event to ‘give a massive round of applause and give Boris [Johnson] a message that we all support a fair pay rise for our front line’.

A platform for nurses’ fair pay campaign

Dame Elizabeth Anionwu
Picture: David Gee

Professor Anionwu told Nursing Standard she was shocked by the tribute. ‘Nurses and the Brit Awards are not something that you would normally think go together. When I look through some of her hits, the one that made me laugh was Blow Your Mind, because I thought, well you’ve blown my mind,’ she said.

Professor Anionwu added that it was lovely thing to happen on the eve of International Nurses Day and in the midst of the RCN’s fair pay campaign.

‘For nurses to be highlighted by a celebrity singer at such an event is needed. I don’t think nurses have that platform normally,’ she said.

The RCN is campaigning for a 12.5% pay rise for all UK nurses on Agenda for Change contracts.

Pioneering work raised the profile of sickle cell disease

Professor Anionwu is famed for her work in raising awareness of sickle cell disease in the NHS. Sickle cell is an inherited blood disorder that can affect people of any race but is most common in people of African or Caribbean heritage.

Before Professor Anionwu’s pioneering work, the disease was often overlooked in NHS care, but as a result of her efforts every child in England is now screened for the disease at birth.


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