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New nursing professor to focus on sick children

A new professorship in community children’s nursing has been created to support research into the experiences of young people with long-term conditions and disabilities.

Mark Whiting has been appointed as the first WellChild Professor of Community Children’s Nursing at the University of Hertfordshire – one of only a handful of clinical nursing professorships in the UK.

The post is jointly funded by University of Hertfordshire and the charity WellChild, which runs a nationwide children’s nursing service, and has been agreed for an initial three-year period.

Professor Whiting will establish a research programme on the experience of children and young people with disabilities and complex, long-term health needs.

He will also continue to work four-days-a-week in his existing post as consultant nurse for children’s community and specialist nursing with Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.     

Linda Partridge, head of programmes for WellChild, said: “Mark is highly respected in the field of children’s community nursing.

“This appointment will aid him in continuing to raise the profile of seriously ill children in the community and addressing their needs at a local, regional and national level.”

Professor Whiting said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be taking on this new challenge.

“It is almost 30 years now since I took up my first appointment as a children’s community nurse in north west London.  Throughout that time my greatest frustration has been the lack of research to demonstrate the real difference that children’s community nurses can make to the lives of children, young people and their families.

He added: “I hope that his appointment will allow me to begin to address that research-deficit.  This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” 

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