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Exclusive: Barts appoints high profile chief nurse in wake of resignations


Professor Janice Stevens is to be unveiled later today as interim chief nurse of Barts Health NHS Trust in east London, Nursing Times understands.

Professor Stevens is currently director of Health Education England for Midlands and East, where she has been instrumental in working on national efforts to encourage former nurses to return to practice via the Come Back to Nursing campaign.

“I am delighted to have been asked to step in as interim chief nurse, and look forward sharing my passion and commitment for patient care with the nursing teams”

Janice Stevens

The trust has confirmed that she will start a six-month secondment as interim chief nurse at Barts on 9 March.

An experienced director of nursing, she was awarded a CBE in 2010 and became an honorary professor at the University of West London.

Professor Stevens has also held roles at the Department of Health – working on policy to reduce healthcare-associated infections and mixed-sex wards – and was a member of the Prime Minister’s Nursing Care Quality Forum.

Both the current chief nurse and chief executive of Barts announced their resignation on 19 February.

Professor Kay Riley will leave the trust – the largest in the country – this month and retire at the end of October, after a 30 year nursing career.

In addition, Peter Morris has announced his departure after six years as chief executive of the trust. He will continue in his role while the selection process for a replacement is undertaken.

With a turnover of £1.25bn and a workforce of 14,000, Barts Health NHS Trust is the largest health service trust in the country. However, it is struggling on both finance and performance.

Barts Health NHS Trust

Professor Janice Stevens

At its last board meeting, held earlier this month, the trust announced its planned deficit had more than doubled from £44m to £93m.

In addition, a report from the Royal College of Nursing, also published earlier this month, highlighted Barts as the biggest spender on agency nurses.

Meanwhile, the trust is awaiting the publication of two Care Quality Commission reports which are expected to criticise the trust’s culture.

The trust also has significant performance problems, failing the four-hour accident and emergency waiting target and recording a 12-hour “trolley breach” wait in January.

Professor Riley has spent the last eight years as chief nurse at Barts and The London NHS Trust and more recently, following various mergers, under its new name Barts Health NHS Trust.

Speaking on Professor Stevens’ appointment, trust chief executive Peter Morris said: “Jan brings a wealth of experience and knowledge gained through over 35 years of nursing across the NHS in both a national and local capacity, with a track record for improving patient safety.

“Her leadership will maintain momentum and confidence as we begin the process to recruit to a new chief nurse,” he added.

Professor Stevens said: “Throughout my career three things have driven me: an absolute belief in the core principles and values of the NHS; a passion and pride for my profession; and a real desire to make a positive difference to patients and their families. 

“I am delighted to have been asked to step in as interim chief nurse, and look forward sharing my passion and commitment for patient care with the nursing teams across Barts Health,” she said.


Readers' comments (4)

  • Bit cheeky calling herself ' Professor' for what is an honourary award.

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  • The trust's reputation has been destroyed by new mergers who always had problems in the past; At the same time, the trust always shut the door to external candidate if any vacancies become available, how can they develop?

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  • redpaddys12 | 25-Feb-2015 3:30 am

    Bit cheeky calling herself ' Professor' for what is an honourary award.

    That should raise some red flags!

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  • Please dont worry about titles attributed by the press - this is good news for Barts. Janice Stevens has a proven track record of promoting the value of good nursing and is an unsung hero of the health service. Lets judge her on results.

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