in memory of Francis Adzinku

We are honoured to be dedicating one of our scholarship places to the memory of Francis Adzinku (1967-2022). Loving partner to Julianna, devoted father to Anastasia, and deeply respected colleague and trusted friend to so many.

Francis was born in Accra, Ghana and then made his home in East London where he trained to be a mental health nurse, getting his registration in 1994.  Francis worked for most of his career at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust in South East London. His work focused for many years in acute and crisis mental health services where he worked as a staff nurse, ward manager, project manager and head of service. Colleagues describe his determination to help patients, support colleagues and fix problems – he was the ‘go to person’ and universally respected. Francis’ most recent role was as Associate Director of Mental Health Community Services, where he was instrumental in bringing system partners together with the shared aim of transforming local services to give patients the best possible care. 

Francis was an outstanding nurse of exceptional skill and a leader and mentor to many hundreds of nurses and colleagues, offering unwavering support and guidance. He dedicated a huge amount of his time, both inside and outside work, to the growth and development of others. Throughout his career, he always championed more junior colleagues, ensuring that they were recognised for their contributions. He took a special place in the hearts of people he worked with for his ability to work behind the scenes to support them and he was steadfast in his commitment to bringing out the best in people. Francis is remembered as a man of great intelligence and compassion, who led with kindness, quiet wisdom and gentle humour; he led by example and in so doing shaped the nursing and leadership practice of so many people, who miss him and are feeling his loss greatly.  

Francis’ mentoring and leadership role extended beyond the boundaries of his own organisation. He was a founder member of Mental Health Educators in the Diaspora, an international volunteering initiative made up of mental health clinicians committed to advancing and raising the profile of mental health education in Ghana and other countries in the West African sub-region. In 2020, with a small number of colleagues, he was one of the founding members of the Jabali Men’s Network, a network of senior male nurses from African, Asian and Caribbean backgrounds, the aim of which is to support, develop, and inspire future generations. Jabali’s membership has grown from 9 to more than 80 colleagues over the last two years and 18 of its members have progressed in their roles with the network’s support. Francis inspired the network to reach deeply into minority communities to inspire young men to join the nursing profession and did a huge amount of work, in addition to his Oxleas role, to further this aim. 

The scholarship, in partnership with the Jabali Men’s Network and CNO England, celebrates the nurse, the leader and the friend that Francis was to so many throughout his career. For more information click here.