Burford, Barbara (1944-2010)

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Burford, Barbara (1944-2010)

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    Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

      Other form(s) of name

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        Description area

        Dates of existence



        Barbara Burford was born in Jamaica in 1944. She moved to London in 1955 with her family, where she attended school and went onto study Medicine at London University. Barbara enjoyed a varied career with the NHS, the civil service and later as a consultant to various public-sector organisations. Barbara pioneered learning and social change throughout her career, and promoted equality in all that she did.

        Barbara’s career in the NHS began in 1964. Initially, she specialised in postgraduate teaching hospitals, before leading a team at the Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. She ran the pulmonary vascular laboratory there for several years during the 1980s and her team was central to several breakthroughs in heart and lung transplant surgery for infants and children. Later in the 1990s, Barbara moved to Leeds to set up IT systems for the NHS executive, a key achievement of which being Positively Diverse – a programme of guidelines designed to help achieve equality in the NHS. From 1999 Barbara was the director of Equality and Diversity at the Department of Health, beginning many initiatives that are now well established. In 2005, shortly before her retirement, the University of Bradford appointed her Deputy Director of its Centre for Inclusion and Diversity. Barbara then set up a consultancy to carry on her mentoring and coaching work.

        During her lifetime Barbara was also a writer, with a particular interest in science fiction and very engaged in feminist politics. She wrote plays, poetry, short stories and a novella. Her play Patterns was produced at the Drill Hall theatre in 1984; the same year that her poetry featured in A Dangerous Knowing – Four Black Women Poets. In 1986 she published The Threshing Floor, a novella and collection of short stories.


        Jamaica (1944-1955: born and raised), London (1955-1990: school, University, working in the NHS), Leeds, Yorkshire, (1990s: IT Systems Operator for NHS), Bradford, West Yorkshire (1990s-2010: Director of Equality and Diversity at the Department of Health, Consultant to various public-sector organisations, retirement).

        Legal status

        Functions, occupations and activities

        NHS Worker (1964-2005), Fiction Writer (197?-?), Deputy Director of Bradford University's Centre for Inclusion and Diversity (2005-?), Consultant to Public Sector Organisations (2005-?).

        Mandates/sources of authority

        Internal structures/genealogy

        General context

        Relationships area

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        Control area

        Authority record identifier

        GB 1534 BB1

        Institution identifier

        GB 1534

        Rules and/or conventions used

        ISAAR (CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the Construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997)



        Level of detail


        Dates of creation, revision and deletion

        Created by Ellen Embleton, 27th March 2017.


        • English



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