NHS England has announced this morning that chief nursing officer Professor Jane Cummings will take charge of its London region for the foreseeable future.
Professor Cummings will juggle the role of CNO with leading the London region from 18 September until a permanent regional director is recruited.
“We will continue working to further improve the quality of care and patient experience for the people across London”
Anne Rainsberry, the current regional director for the capital, will step down from her role in the autumn, said NHS England.
It added that Professor Cummings would “continue to fully perform her role” as CNO for England and also maintain her place on NHS England’s leadership board as a national director.
But the national commissioning body highlighted that she would receive “additional support” into her team alongside her current nurse directors.
This, it said, would enable Professor Cummings to delegate many of the other duties she fulfils as a national director, while “retaining oversight of these areas”.
“During this transitional period, it is vital that the NHS in London has strong leadership”
Commenting on her appointment, the CNO said: “It is an exciting time for the NHS in London and I look forward to joining the excellent team Anne has developed.
“Together, we will continue working to further improve the quality of care and patient experience for the people across London,” she said.
Matthew Swindells, NHS England’s national director for operations and information, said: “During this transitional period, it is vital that the NHS in London has strong leadership, which is why we have asked the chief nursing officer if she would take over the leadership of NHS England in London whilst a permanent replacement is recruited.
“Jane has extensive clinical and managerial experience and I look forward to continuing to work with her in this new role,” he added.
Ms Rainsberry said: “I wish Jane every success – having such an experienced nurse and manager taking on the leadership of NHS London is a fine example of the vital role of nurses in leading healthcare across the capital and the NHS more widely.
“It is also significant that a board member of NHS England will be taking on this key role,” she added.
“Having the chief nurse leading NHS England’s London team underlines the value of nurse leadership”
The Royal College of Nursing backed the move, describing it as “good news” for the profession.
Janet Davies, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “It’s good news for nursing and good news for London that Jane Cummings is bringing her clinical experience and leadership to this important role.
“Having the chief nurse leading NHS England’s London team underlines the value of nurse leadership, and brings an experienced clinician to the role,” she said.
As a clinical nurse, Professor Cummings specialised in emergency care before holding trust management roles including director of commissioning, director of nursing and deputy chief executive.
In February 2014, she became the national lead for emergency care which, involved working closely with clinical colleagues and NHS managers to deliver the 98% operational standard.
England’s chief nurse to oversee health service in the capital
Source: Woman&Home/Liz McAulay
She moved to the former strategic health authority (SHA) NHS North West in November 2007, where she held executive responsibility for the professional leadership of nursing, quality, performance, QIPP and commissioning.
In October 2011, Professor Cummings was appointed to the role of chief nurse for the North of England SHA Cluster.
In June 2012, she became CNO for England, going on to publish the Compassion in Practice national nursing strategy, which incorporated the 6Cs, in December of that year and its successor Leading Change, Adding Value in 2016.
She is also the NHS England national director sponsor for the programme to transform care for people with learning disabilities. She is also the lead national director for maternity and workforce.
NHS London has “oversight and leadership” for the health service in the capital. It commissions more than £15bn of services for the 8.17 million people living in the capital.