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6th FNF Chair of Clinical Nursing Practice Research



Appointment of leading academic to boost quality of patient care in the Midlands

Patients in Birmingham will benefit from the appointment of a new Florence Nightingale Foundation Chair in Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Practice Research who will follow the celebrated social reformer’s role in reviewing and developing evidence to deliver the highest quality care to patients.

The appointment, made by the Florence Nightingale Foundation in partnership with The University of Birmingham and the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, will see Professor Debbie Carrick-Sen become the first Florence Nightingale Foundation Chair in Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Practice Research in the Midlands.

The chair is the sixth such position in the UK and follows appointments in Cardiff, Cambridge, Manchester and London.

Professor Carrick-Sen, currently Head of Research for Nursing and Midwifery at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has many years’ experience in clinical nursing and midwifery research, practice and practice development.

She has specialised in the mental health of mothers and fathers before and after the birth of a baby, which has been identified as a national clinical and research priority for the coming year. Her research has included work into the preparation of parents for twin and multiple births, and the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in parents following high risk childbirth.

Professor Fiona Irvine, Head of Nursing at The University of Birmingham, said:  “This is a splendid achievement for nursing and midwifery in Birmingham. Nurses and midwives make an important contribution to the development of evidence-based healthcare through their research; and this appointment really reinforces this position.  We look forward to gaining from her experience and ensuring that our own nursing and midwifery research translates to the clinical setting where patients can benefit  directly.”

Sam Foster, Chief Nurse at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Birmingham, added: “We are delighted to have jointly appointed a Chair in Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Practice Research in partnership with The University of Birmingham, School of Health and Population Sciences. Supported by the Florence Nightingale Foundation, the Chair will work closely with our nursing and midwifery teams at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust to further enhance the quality of nursing and midwifery care delivered to our patients through the application and advancement of clinical research.”

Professor Elizabeth Robb, Chief Executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, said: “Professor Carrick-Sen’s appointment reflects our aim to support the creation of chairs in clinical nursing practice research and to work closely with academic bodies and healthcare organisations to develop evidence based practice.  This appointment adds to our network of Chairs around the country ensuring that the standards and values laid down by Florence Nightingale continue to resonate in nursing today.”

Professor Carrick-Sen said “It is a huge honour to be appointed to such a prestigious role. I am tremendously excited to be working in this innovative post supported by three outstanding organisations. Throughout my career I have been committed to conducting research of applied use to patient care, nursing, midwifery and health care organisations. This post offers a unique opportunity to expand on this research programme in a way that reflects the priorities of patients in Birmingham and the West Midlands.”  

A widely published author and speaker at national and international forums, Professor Carrick-Sen was nominated as one of top current 100 leaders in the NHS in 2012. She is Co Chair of the National Clinical Academic Training and Careers group, the work of which has resulted in the introduction of a sustainable high quality clinical academic training and career pathway for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals.