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Chief nursing officer to retire

England’s chief nursing officer, Dame Christine Beasley, has announced that she will retire in March 2011. She will have been in the role for six years.


During this time, there has been a 78% reduction in cases of MRSA and a 53% reduction in C Difficile. Ward staff have also taken responsibility for ‘orphan’ items, such as commodes and mattresses, introducing schemes to make it clear to patients when and by whom their equipment was cleaned.


[quote top=Speaking at the CNO summit, Dame Christine said:] I am honoured to have been chief nursing officer for England for the last six years. During that time I have met thousands of nurses and midwives and seen at first hand their dedication, passion, and innovative approaches to improving the care of patients and support to communities. I know the positive impact they make on a daily basis to the people who use our services. Whilst I know the future will provide some tough challenges, I believe that nurses and midwives are well placed to seize the opportunities. Without their leadership it will not be possible to fulfil the expectations of patients and the public for the NHS, Public Health and Social Care Services. [/quote]


Sir David Nicholson, NHS chief executive, commented: "Chris has been a great colleague and a highly regarded member of the senior team at the Department. She's made a major contribution as a leader, with her hands-on and personable approach. As a result of her hard work, she’s successfully reduced hospital infections and made headway tackling mixed-sex accommodation, to name but a few achievements. I will miss her wisdom and sense of humour, and wish her all the best in her retirement."

Arrangements are currently being made to appoint an interim CNO who will be announced in due course.