Professor Trish Morris-Thompson, chief nurse and director of quality and clinical governance at Barchester Healthcare, has announced she is retiring at the end of February.
Professor Morris-Thompson, a practicing nurse and midwife for 38 years, has held a series of high-ranking positions within both the NHS and the independent sector.
“I am delighted to have been an ambassador for staff in this sector”
As well as her role at Barchester, she is also currently an advisor to both Care England and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and a trustee for the Florence Nightingale Foundation.
She was previously chief nurse at NHS London, the capital’s former strategic health authority, for six years from 2006 to 2013.
Professor Morris-Thompson said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as chief nurse at Barchester, where I have been humbled and inspired by the individuals working for the company, who are committed to delivering compassionate, person-centred care for our residents and patients.
“I am delighted to have been an ambassador for staff in this sector,” she said. “I’m proud of the evolution of the company during my time here and am excited by the plans going forward.”
Barchester Healthcare employs almost 17,000 people to care for more than 10,000 individuals at more than 200 locations in the UK.
“Trish’s commitment, energy and creative thinking will be a great loss”
Dr Pete Calveley, chief executive of Barchester, said: “Trish joined Barchester nearly four years ago and since then we have made significant steps in enhancing the quality of care that we provide to our residents and patients, and this is reflected in the improvements that we have seen in our ratings from our regulators.
“In addition, she has overseen the development of a new dementia care programme and driven a number of major changes in the way her department is structured and supports the rest of the business in achieving our long-term quality goals,” he said.
“She has also been a fantastic ambassador not just for Barchester but for the nursing profession as a whole,” he said. “I’d like to thank Trish for everything she has achieved during her time with us.”
Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives wished Professor Morris-Thompson a “very happy retirement”.
“Trish has been a committed advocate for high-quality maternity care and in her various positions has been a strong supporter of midwives. She will be missed by the profession,” said Professor Warwick.
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Meanwhile, former government nursing advisor Professor Deborah Sturdy, currently a visiting professor at Buckinghamshire New University, credited Professor Morris-Thompson’s influence with helping “put nursing and midwifery on the map”.
“Her career in the NHS led to her attaining a number of senior positions in both nursing and midwifery which made significant strides in improving patient care,” she said. “She has challenged on behalf of, and championed social care nursing during the latter part of her career.”
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England said: “Professor Trish Morris-Thompson has made an outstanding contribution to health and care over her very distinguished career.
“Trish’s commitment, energy and creative thinking will be a great loss to the health and social care system,” he added.
Nursing Times editor Jenni Middleton noted that Professor Morris-Thompson had been named by Nursing Times on a list of the most inspirational nurse leaders in 2015.
“Her passion and common sense approach will be much missed by all of us at Nursing Times,” she said. “I wish her well in her future endeavours.”