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Foundation of Nursing Studies chair set to step down

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Leading nurse academic Professor Tony Butterworth is to step down from his role as chair of the Foundation of Nursing Studies charity.

Professor Butterworth has been in post since 2011 and will leave the organisation, which supports nurses to improve their practice, in September.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with FoNS and am sad to leave, but my time is up”

Tony Butterworth

At the same time he will also leave his position as vice-chair of the Royal College of Nursing Foundation charity, which gives out grants and bursaries to nurses.

In September, Professor Butterworth will become a trustee of the Burdett Trust charity, which provides grants to nurse-led projects.

While at the Foundation of Nursing Studies Professor Butterworth helped to lead a major piece of work looking at mental health nursing practice.

The Playing our Part report, published last year, made a series of recommendations about the changes needed to improve nursing care for people with mental health issues, following a year-long consultation with the profession.

It found undergraduate mental health nursing courses were lacking in a “relevant evidence base” that was consistent across all programmes, creating problems around professional identity.

The report also urged the chief nursing officers of all four UK countries to “endorse the good work of graduate and registered mental health nurses more regularly and publicly” to help underline the unique, professional identity of the workforce.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with FoNS and am sad to leave, but my time is up,” Professor Butterworth told Nursing Times, noting he had worked with “such a great team of colleagues”.

Commenting on Professor Butterworth’s departure, Foundation of Nursing Studies chief executive Theresa Shaw said: “It has been an immense pleasure to work with Tony. He has been an excellent chairman, his commitment to FoNS and me has been tremendous and I have sincerely appreciated his wise counsel, support and leadership.”

“When Tony steps down from the role of chairman at the end of the year he will leave a strong and thriving organisation that will continue to champion nurses and nursing and strive towards its aspiration to enable a culture across health and social care that values people – helping those using services to experience care that is the best it can be and allows staff to feel appreciated and supported,” she added.

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