England’s next chief nursing officer has told Nursing Times she is anxious to “demonstrate the good work that nursing and midwifery does”.
The Department of Health announced last week that Jane Cummings would be the CNO on the newly created NHS Commissioning Board. She will act as the national lead for the profession.
Ms Cummings is currently chief nurse at the NHS North of England strategic health authority cluster and was previously nursing director at NHS North West.
Among a range of regional and national projects, she has led the high profile Energise for Excellence programme which encourages nurses to lead improvements in care quality and efficiency.
Speaking ahead of taking up her new post, Ms Cummings said: “One of the challenges will be how I can communicate with the hundreds of thousands of nurses that are driving improvements in patient safety and experience.”
“I want to be able to demonstrate the value that nursing and midwifery brings to the vast majority of patients.”
She comes to the role against a background of high profile public and media concern about care quality. One of Ms Cummings’ first major jobs is likely to be responding to the public inquiry report into Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, which is expected in May.
She said: “I feel very privileged to have the job, I realise there are challenges ahead and look forward to working with nurses and midwives across the country to move things forward.”
Ms Cummings trained at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital. She later specialised in emergency care, before moving into management. In 2002 she joined the DH and led high profile drives to improve accident and emergency waiting times and patient choice. She became director of nursing at NHS North West in 2007.
Along with new DH director of nursing Viv Bennett, Ms Cummings will replace current CNO for England Dame Christine Beasley.