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Exclusive: Senior nurse joins struggling Worcester trust as interim chief

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Experienced nurse leader Janice Stevens will take over as an interim chief nurse at a struggling acute provider in the West Midlands, Nursing Times can reveal.

She will take up the leadership role at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust from 1 April, initially for six months.

Prior to her latest appointment, Ms Stevens was interim chief nurse at Barts Health NHS Trust for just over a year until 31 March.

Barts – the largest trust in England – appointed Caroline Alexander, formerly NHS England’s chief nurse for London, as its new permanent chief nurse in January.

Ms Stevens remains on secondment from her permanent post as managing director Health Education England West Midlands.

Janice Stevens

Janice Stevens

Janice Stevens

Speaking about her latest move, she said: “I didn’t expect to become a chief nurse again at this stage of my career, but I was so pleased I was asked to go to Barts Health as I had forgotten how much I did love the role.

“It has been challenging but hugely rewarding and I am proud of what we have achieved over the last 12 months,” she said.

“The opportunity to be able to continue as a chief nurse but not be away from home all week is ideal and Worcester is my local trust so I am looking forward to joining the team,” she told Nursing Times.

The trust provides services across three main sites – Worcestershire Royal Hospital, the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and the Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre.

However, it was placed in “special measures”, the support scheme for failing health service organisations, in December.

The move followed a recommendation from the Care Quality Commission, which rated the trust as “inadequate” after inspections in July.

Inspectors said it needed to make “urgent” improvements in areas including staffing levels, governance, investigation of clinical incidents and culture.

“Worcester is my local trust so I am looking forward to joining the team”

Janice Stevens

While the trust was rated “good” for whether its services were caring, it was rated “inadequate” for safety and leadership. The responsiveness and effectiveness of services “requires improvement”.

Ms Stevens has previously held posts at the Department of Health. She was national director of the Healthcare-Associated Infection and Cleanliness Division, where she was responsible for the team supporting delivery of meeting MRSA and C. difficile reduction targets and standards.

She also led the national programme to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation in hospitals in England.


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