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Updated: Former CNO appointed chair of Florence Nightingale Foundation

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A former chief nursing officer for three countries in the UK has been appointed as chair of the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

Dame Yvonne Moores will take up the new post at the start of 2019.

“I look forward to being part of the continued development of the foundation”

Dame Yvonne Moores 

She is taking over from Bryan Sanderson, who retired in September after a decade in the role.

The charity works to develop nurse and midwife leaders both in the UK and abroad through scholarships.

Dame Yvonne said: “I am very excited to have been appointed as chair of the Florence Nightingale Foundation at this important time for nursing.

“I look forward to being part of the continued development of the foundation to ensure that nurses and midwives are empowered to use their professional voice effectively and seek all opportunities to influence healthcare policy and practice,” she added.

A qualified nurse and midwife, Dame Yvonne has held number of senior nurse leadership positions in London and Manchester.

“This comes at a crucial point in the history of the foundation”

Ursula Ward

She is a former chief nursing officer for Wales, for Scotland and for England.

Other roles previously held by Dame Yvonne include pro-chancellor and chair of the council of the University of Southampton; non-executive director of the National House Building Council; and non-executive director and vice chair of Poole NHS Foundation Trust.

Dame Yvonne also has a long-standing commitment to global health.

She has chaired nursing advisory group for the World Health Organisation; is currently an advisor to the Princess Srinagarindra Foundation which selects the “World Nurse of the Year”; and also chairs the Wessex Global Health Network Committee.

In 2017, she was the sixth recipient in 25 years of Sigma Theta Tau’s international lifetime achievement award in recognition of her contribution to the health and wellbeing of people across the world.

Ursula Ward, chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, said she was “delighted” to welcome Dame Yvonne to the team.

She added: “This comes at a crucial point in the history of the foundation, particularly with the forthcoming bi-centenary of the birth Florence in 2020.”

However, one of the charity’s trustees, Ann Keen, has resigned in protest after Dame Yvonne was preferred to an internal candidate, Dr Neslyn Watson-Druee, who is from a black and minority ethnic background.

Ms Keen, a former MP and health minister, said in a letter to the foundation that Ms Watson-Druee “was an outstanding applicant”.

“We are all aware that the time is long overdue to create a level playing field for BME applicants for senior posts and to do everything we can to encourage and help promote such applicants to leadership positions,” she said.

“Given the relative absence of BME leadership within nursing despite the large and growing number of BME nurses and midwives, I cannot help thinking what a fantastic signal it would have sent to the professions,” she added.

In a response statement, the foundation highlighted that Dame Yvonne has held many senior posts including chief nursing officer for Wales, Scotland and England and also had extensive board experience with a number of other organisations.

It said: “The foundation is fully committed to inclusivity and diversity – 38% of our NHS 70 leadership programme are nurses and midwives from BME backgrounds. Further, we have just commenced a programme for descendants of the Windrush generation.

“The board of directors are delighted to welcome Dame Yvonne Moores as the chair at this important juncture in the foundation’s history,” it added.

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