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Nurses feature in NHS leadership council

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Three nursing representatives will add their expertise to a new government body intended to develop leadership skills in the NHS.

Carolyn Davison, a nurse consultant at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, and chief nursing officer for England Dame Christine Beasley are included in 25 ‘core’ members of the new NHS National Leadership Council.

Additionally, Jennifer Lee Leggott, director of nursing at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, has been chosen as one of the council’s ‘fellows’.

The membership of the council – the creation of which was set out in the NHS Next Stage Review – was announced last week by the government and includes representatives from both the world of business as well as healthcare.

It will be chaired by NHS chief executive David Nicholson and is intended to bring together ‘experienced and inspirational leaders to champion and challenge the development of high-quality leadership throughout the NHS’.

The council will have 25 core members and five patrons - renowned national and international leadership experts, one of whom will be former BBC director general Greg Dyke, who are intended to bring an ‘external perspective’.

Members will also be able to draw on further specialist expertise from a ‘faculty of fellows’ which is being created to support the council, of whom 14 have so far been appointed.

The council will focus on five areas of NHS leadership including clinical leadership, board development, increasing the number of suitable candidates for the top leadership jobs, making leaders more representative of their communities and supporting emerging leaders.

Carolyn Davison told Nursing Times that this was a ‘prime time to develop nursing leadership’.

‘There are lots of talented people out there making a difference to care and we have to find ways of identifying and nurturing them and bringing them forward as leaders,’ she said.

‘We have had recent reports which discuss standards of care in hospitals. As nurses we are a very powerful group of people in terms of influencing care and we have to take responsibility,’ she added.

Ms Davison said she hoped that in future more nurses would move into leadership roles and that more would take master’s level degrees.

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