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Large London community and mental health trust appoints new chief nurse

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Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust has announced that it has appointed a new chief nurse.

The promotion of Maria O’Brien to the role of chief nurse at the trust, commonly known as CNWL, will follow the retirement later this year of current incumbent Andy Mattin.

“Our nursing and therapy staff can lead the way on delivering care and excellence”

Maria O’Brien

On her appointment, Ms O’Brien vowed that her nursing staff to “lead the way on delivering care and excellence”.

Ms O’Brien brings to her new post over 30 years-experience, having trained as a nurse at Guy’s Hospital in London during the 1980s.

When in training, she had a specialist focus in cardiac nursing and intensive care and later went on to become the director of North West London Cardiac and Stroke Network in 2004.

Throughout her nursing career, Ms O’Brien has undertaken many operational and senior management posts, and in 2008 joined the Board of Hillingdon Primary Care Trust as managing director and executive director of nursing.

Ms O’Brien has been at the CNWL trust since 2011 and took responsibility for community services in Camden in 2012.

“Maria will rise to the challenge and the privilege, beautifully”

Claire Murdoch

The trust is one of the largest in the UK, caring for people with a wide range of physical and mental health needs, with the majority of its services provided in the community.

Since February 2014, Ms O’Brien has been divisional director of operations and in 2017 joined the board of directors as the executive lead for the trust’s community services.

Speaking about her new post as chief nurse, she said: “I’m really pleased to be taking up this role.

“We have amazing nurses and therapists here and they make me proud every day, they really do,” she added.

“The focus of the NHS Long Term Plan is based on integrating services particularly mental health and community health, our nursing and therapy staff can lead the way on delivering care and excellence,” said Ms O’Brien. “I am delighted to be here.”

Among the appointing panel was CNWL’s chief executive and a nurse herself, Claire Murdoch, who congratulated Ms O’Brien and noted the importance of her role.

National director for mental health

Claire Murdoch

Andy Mattin, executive director of nursing and quality, will be retiring from his post in the autumn after nine and a half years at the trust.

“Andy has been an exemplary chief nurse and is a hard act to follow but know that Maria will rise to the challenge and the privilege, beautifully,” said Ms Murdoch.

“Her commitment to patient care, the value of clinical skill and her desire to work with our therapy, nursing and medical colleagues, to make CNWL an outstanding place to work and to receive care, shone through,” she said.

“Nurses are our largest group of staff by far and in a great variety of settings; mental health and physical care on our wards, but also community and district nurses, school nurses, sexual health, addictions, prison healthcare and Outreach nurses – and our students,” she added.

As part of Ms O’Brien’s appointment, she will also be the executive director responsible for allied health professionals, including psychologists, occupational therapists, physios, psychotherapists, arts psychotherapists and speech and language therapists.

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