NHS England and NHS Improvement have made the first two joint regional chief nurse appointments.
Sue Doheny, a board-level director in the NHS, has been appointed for the South, while Professor Oliver Shanley OBE, Deputy Chief Executive at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, has been appointed for London.
In their joint roles, Doheny and Shanley will provide professional leadership to all members of the nursing and midwifery professions in their region, bringing greater clarity for front line staff.
The role is responsible for implementing the regulatory and statutory functions of both NHS England and NHS Improvement.
In a statement, NHS England said the aim of the role is to “provide clear joint leadership and greater collaboration across both organisations to ensure delivery of strategic aims and ultimately better care for patients”.
Doheny has been a Board level director in the NHS for over nine years but started her nursing career in London following her training in Cardiff.
She later moved to Herefordshire to work as a community nurse in intermediate care and then worked in the West Midlands in various roles.
Doheny said: “I am delighted to be taking up this new role working with the nursing and midwifery teams both at NHS England South and at NHS Improvement South.
“I hope that by having a single professional nursing and midwifery leader for the region we will be able to work more closely together for the benefit of both organisations and for the benefit of patients.”
Shanley, a registered mental health nurse, has most recently been deputy chief executive and director of quality and safety (chief nurse) at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, where he has been for seven years.
Shanley said: “‘I am thrilled to have been appointed to the role of regional chief nurse for London. It is a fantastic opportunity to promote nurses and midwives and ensure we continue to deliver high quality care whilst being at the forefront of continuous improvements across the NHS.”
Professor Jane Cummings,chief nursing officer (CNO) for England, has welcomed the two joint appointments.
She said: “I am very pleased at this new approach to joint Chief Nurse roles and we have appointed two very experienced health professionals. They will be able to coordinate and lead our professions in their regions, working closely with me as CNO, Ruth May and Hilary Garratt and enable us to develop our response to the challenges ahead.”
Dr Ruth May, executive director of nursing for NHS Improvement, said: "These joint appointments will strengthen our ability to provide great nursing leadership across London and the South.
“It will build on the support we provide to the nursing community and to the wider NHS on the important role that nursing care plays in the health service. I look forward to working with Sue and Oliver."
Both posts report to their respective NHS England and NHS Improvement regional directors.
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