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Trust nursing director dies unexpectedly

A leading mental health nurse has died suddenly, her trust in the East Midlands has confirmed.   

Sharon Dennis was interim director of nursing at Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, a post she had held since August.  

Trust chief executive Angela Hillery said in a statement that it was “with deep regret that we learned of the sad and sudden death” of Ms Dennis.

“I am not able to share any further information with you at this time. Because her death was unexpected we must await the outcome of the formal processes the police follow to determine the cause of her death,” Ms Hillery said.

She added that Ms Dennis had “already made an impact” despite the short length of time she had been with the trust.

“She will be much missed by colleagues and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this tragic time,” she said.

Ms Dennis was a highly qualified and experienced mental health nurses specialising in acute inpatient care.

She spent the majority of her career working in London and the South East, including two years as deputy director of nursing at South London and Maudsley Trust and three years as director of nursing at North East London Mental Health Trust.

She subsequently moved into consultancy and project management work, spending the last couple of years in the West Midlands and the North West, before joining Northamptonshire in August this year.

In addition, she was regional co-director and board secretary for the Royal College of Nursing in South East England and an active member of the RCN’s Mental Health Forum’s steering committee.

Ms Dennis also held a part-time national role with the Care Quality Commission as a clinical specialty adviser.

The Windrush Nurses and Beyond Foundation had recently named its Mental Health Nursing Award after her.

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