Deborah Sturdy announced as first Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care in England

The Government has confirmed that Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE will take up the newly-created role to represent social care nurses and provide wider clinical leadership.

Professor Sturdy will begin her new role from 21 December on a six-month interim basis to help guide the sector through the upcoming winter months.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed that the position will be filled “on a more permanent basis” next year.

The Government announced the creation of the new position in September and described it as helping to provide “clinical and professional leadership, while upholding and raising standards among the care workforce.”

Chief Social Workers for Adults, Mark Harvey and Fran Leddra, said they were pleased at Professor Sturdy’s appointment and they were looking forward to working with her to help “strengthen and support the adult social care nursing workforce and to help us provide a strong professional voice for the sector”.

The role will cover engagement with frontline social care nurses to promote their interests within government policy and the throughout the wider sector, as well as raising standards and to celebrate success.

Professor Sturdy has held a variety of roles within the health and social care professions, including clinical practice, management and policy and research. She spent 11 years as a professional nursing adviser at DHSC, before providing nursing advice to the Gosport Independent Panel. In 2017, Professor Sturdy was appointed as Director of Health and Wellbeing at the Royal Hospital Chelsea – a role she will continue to hold in a part-time capacity.

Speaking of her new appointment, Professor Sturdy said that she was “honoured” to have been appointed to “help define a new narrative for social care nursing” and that she would aim to “give a voice to those working in social care and develop the workforce, through the difficult months ahead and beyond”.

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, welcomed Professor Sturdy to the “vital” new role and explained that it would mean “leadership and representation at the highest level for the many thousands of social care nursing colleagues who make a difference to millions of people every day”.

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