By her own admission, it is over 20 years since Dame Christine Beasley, England’s chief nurse, handled a bedpan. Yet she is perceived as the nurses’ nurse, the matron in Whitehall.
She arrived at the Department of Health in 2004, at the height of the furore about healthcare-associated infections. She seized the opportunity and made it a nursing responsibility, and today remains at the heart of government policy in nursing. She is known to be politically astute - and utterly serious.
The Chief Nursing Officer’s monthly bulletin, produced with the Department of Health, is published on nursingtimes.net.