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Chief Nurse Josie Rudman MBE is due to take up a new role with NHS England this summer. Here, she reflects on 13 years of leading the nursing team at Royal Papworth Hospital…
Josie, what have been your highlights of working at Royal Papworth Hospital?
There have been so many highlights, but really it has all been about the staff – they are all fantastic. They live the hospital’s values and quality strategy, getting it right for our patients every day.
You’ve been Chief Nurse during a huge period of change for the hospital. What are the big milestones you’ve been involved in?
The process of designing our new hospital was really fascinating – then the move itself, and Her Majesty The Queen coming to open our new building. I was so proud when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) came to do their inspection in 2019 – our staff really showed how brilliant they were and I was so proud when we became the first UK trust to receive an ‘outstanding’ rating in all five of the domains they assess.
What was it like leading the nursing team at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I couldn’t be prouder of the way the hospital responded to the pandemic. I knew our staff would be amazing and they really have been – they have stood up in a way that was unimaginable before the pandemic happened. The way it has brought the team together I am sure will be everlasting.
What’s next for the Chief Nurse role at Royal Papworth Hospital?
There is always more to do, and whoever becomes our new Chief Nurse will be joining at a real crossroads for the whole of the NHS as it rebuilds itself following the pandemic. We now need to focus on restoring the health and wellbeing of our staff who have given so much in the last 12 months and reshape our services to meet changing demands. Our new Chief Nurse will also need to work closely with other partners regionally and nationally to help tackle health inequalities and make sure we are reaching the patients who most need our services.
What will you miss most?
I really will miss the people I have worked with over the years – the challenges we have faced together, the support we have shown for each other and the passion we have for caring for our patients. I cannot imagine finding such a team anywhere else.
To find out more about our Chief Nurse vacancy, please visit the NHS Jobs website.