New NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has announced that Kylie – recently of hit BBC talent show “The Voice” – is to be given an ambassador role for the health service.
Ms Minogue’s appointment is the first to be made by Mr Stevens, who officially took over from Sir David Nicholson in the NHS leadership hot seat today.
The actress and singer will take on the job as a part-time role between “other commitments”, according to a statement from NHS England.
She will begin a tour of trusts and other NHS service providers later this year, where she will meet frontline staff and patients, and act as a “cheerleader” for good patient experience.
Mr Stevens said he had been a long-term fan of Ms Minogue’s work and that she would bring new energy, expertise and a “touch of glamour” to the NHS after a tough couple of years for the service.
He said: “The health service often finds itself in the media spotlight for the wrong reasons, we hope that Kylie will help it get on the TV, radio and new media for the right reasons – great patient care.”
It was revealed in March that Ms Minogue had turned down the offer of appearing in another series of The Voice, telling The Mirror that the experience had been “really difficult, too taxing and emotional”.
It is understood she will start her NHS visits during the summer, but will take a break during her upcoming Kiss Me Once tour, which is scheduled to takes place during September, October and November.
Speaking about the new ambassador role, Ms Minogue said she was a great fan of the NHS and was “delighted” to accept the part-time job for her old “mate” Mr Stevens, whom she first met about 10 years ago after a show to promote her album “Light Years”.
She added: “One of the lyrics from the song Spinning Around, which was on that album, included the line ‘I’m through with the past. Ain’t no point in looking back. The future will be’ – that’s how I’m looking at helping the NHS get a more positive image.”
The announcement was made by Mr Stevens during a tour of the NHS in the north east where he started his NHS career 26 years ago.
He began the day by meeting patients and nurses at Shotley Bridge Hospital in County Durham and then visited a GP-led medical centre where he was due to meet patients and staff.
* Nursing Times admits that the contents of this story, published on the 1 April, is entirely untrue and should be regarded as our attempt at an “April Fool”.