It is with great sadness that the Florence Nightingale Foundation officially says thank you and goodbye to outgoing president Baroness Audrey Emerton. Everybody at the Foundation, and indeed all involved with its work, extend their heartfelt thanks for all of Baroness Emerton’s support. President since 2004, Baroness Emerton has seen the Foundation develop and grow in stature and impact, taking all in her stride and constantly remaining a role model to everyone in nursing, and health and social care more generally. She has been extremely influential- an idol to many and an inspiration for all whilst at the Foundation. Baroness Mary Watkins of Tavistock will be stepping into the role. Baroness Watkins qualified as a general nurse in 1976 and a mental health nurse in 1979, and was made a peer in November 2015. In a long and distinguished professional career as a nurse and an academic, Baroness Watkins has always been driven by a desire to improve patient care. FNF are absolutely delighted to welcome Baroness Watkins as the new President. The Foundation and its supporters look forward to working with her, and are pleased to maintain our link with the House of Lords.
Plaudits have come from numerous sources for Baroness Emerton’s leadership and advocacy for the Foundation during her presidency, including from Professor Elizabeth Robb, Chief Executive of the Foundation, who said: “Baroness Emerton put incredible contributions into her role as President and was a tremendous ambassador for the Foundation and its work.”
Additionally, Chair of Trustees, Bryan Sanderson said: “Baroness Emerton has been a terrific asset to the Foundation. We have been very well served under her presidency.”
In her address to the Florence Nightingale Foundation AGM, Baroness Watkins noted the excellent job that Baroness Emerton has done as President, and said how she is looking forward to building on Baroness Emerton’s legacy as President.