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David Foster appointed as deputy to CNO Viv Bennett

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Deputy chief nursing officer David Foster has been appointed as deputy to the Department of Health’s top public health nurse Viv Bennett.

Dr Foster, who worked alongside Professor Bennett as deputy to chief nursing officer Christine Beasley, will have a broad portfolio including workforce, education and research issues.

Under the new NHS structure the chief nursing officer role has been split into two. Professor Bennett has been appointed as the DH director of nursing with responsibility for public health.

A chief nursing officer, who will sit on the new NHS Commissioning Board, is due to be appointed soon.

In a letter to nursing leaders announcing his new role Dr Foster said: “I am thrilled that this opportunity has arisen and that I can support Viv in her new role and contribute to the Department of Health’s new priorities.

“There will be a transition period during which Viv and I will clarify my new responsibilities and priorities which will dovetail with the other structural changes around the system with, for example, the development of the NHS Commissioning Board and Health Education England.”

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