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Prostate cancer: a nurse’s quest to discover black men’s unmet care needs

Mary Seacole Awards winner will research the care experience of black men

Mary Seacole Awards winner will research the care experience of black men who have prostate cancer

A nurse researching black men’s experience of prostate cancer care is among this year’s Mary Seacole Awards winners.

Obrey Alexis, a senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes University’s department of nursing, will use the £12,500 funding towards his research project.

Access to healthcare


Oxford Brookes senior lecturer
Obrey Alexis

Black men are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as their white counterparts in the UK and Dr Alexis will carry out in-depth interviews to determine their unmet needs.

He will also focus on their experience of accessing healthcare, with findings designed to show how the group can be better cared for.

The Mary Seacole Awards were created in honour of the Jamaican-Scottish nurse, celebrated for her bravery in nursing soldiers in the Crimean War. Funding of up to £12,500 is awarded to projects benefitting the health of people from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities.

Midwifery project

Fellow winner, midwife Sarah Chitongo, will use £6,500 funding awarded to her this week to attempt to reduce complications and deaths among high-risk BME mothers and babies.

The Middlesex University midwifery educator will interview around 20 midwives from five London hospitals about their experiences in caring for BME groups in delivery suites' high dependency units. 

Ms Chitongo, who said the area was under-researched, added: ‘This is a huge honour and a pivotal moment in my career. Mary Seacole cast the seeds of diversity in healthcare and it’s a great honour to contribute to this legacy.’


Sarah Chitongo of Middlesex University

Three people who received funding for their projects last year were presented with certificates and Mary Seacole scholar badges. They included Bertha Ochieng from De Montfort University, who researched safeguarding of vulnerable adults training, and Saeidah Saeidi from Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, whose project covered developing a culturally competent mental health workforce.

The awards are funded by Health Education England and are awarded in association with the RCN, Royal College of Midwives, Unison and Unite with support from NHS Employers.

Applications for the 2019/2020 awards will open in February 2019.


Further information

Find out more about the awards


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