Candidates are now in the final race for the new senior nursing position on the NHS Commissioning Board.
Nursing Times understands the shortlist includes Jane Cummings, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at NHS North West, and Trish Morris-Thompson chief nurse at NHS London.
It is also thought to include Caroline Shaw, chief executive at The Christie Foundation Trust in Manchester, who has a nursing and midwifery background, and Janice Stevens, who is currently an independent healthcare consultant but was the Department of Health’s national director for healthcare associated infections and cleanliness from 2005 till March last year.
It has been confirmed to Nursing Times that Katherine Fenton, chief nurse at University College Hospital in London, who was also hotly tipped for the post withdrew her application early in the recruitment process, prior to the interview stage.
The post will provide a nursing perspective for the board’s role in overseeing the new clinical commissioning groups. Along with the Department of Health public health nursing director position recently filled by Professor Viv Bennett, it replaces the single chief nursing officer for England post which is currently held by Dame Christine Beasley.
Controversy has surrounded the splitting of the traditional CNO role, with some in the profession voicing concerns that it will see a dilution of nursing influence at senior levels.