FNF announces simon gillespie as new chair

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  • Florence Nightingale Foundation announces Simon Gillespie as new Chair

We are delighted to share the news that Simon Gillespie OBE has been appointed as our Chair of Trustees/Board of Directors.

Simon brings extensive experience as a highly successful trustee/non-executive Chair and Board member of national and international organisations, as well as an experienced CEO – most recently he was an award-winning Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation. He also has significant senior experience in large medical research, health and care charities, regulation and the Royal Navy.

Simon is currently a Specialist Advisor to the World Health Organization (Europe) and a Special (voluntary) Sergeant in Cheshire Police. In 2019 he was recipient of the Officer of the Order of the British Empire “for services to patients and to medical research”.

His connection to nursing and midwifery professions is personal as well as professional: Simon’s wife was a nurse and he has seen first-hand the difference that quality nursing care can make to people in difficult moments.

Simon takes on this role at a critical time for nurses and midwives. The Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) exists to support these professions. We enhance nurses and midwives’ leadership skills to support them to fulfil their demanding roles: improving care and saving lives. Our agile programmes and support services are largely delivered by nurses and midwives with real lived experience, maintaining the legacy of Florence Nightingale.

Of his appointment, Simon says: “I am privileged and delighted to take on this role at the Florence Nightingale Foundation. Nurses and midwives are at the core of our healthcare services. I have seen at first-hand – both in the UK and internationally – the positive difference nurses and midwives make for patients and the challenges nurses and midwives face. I am very much looking forward to working with the rest of the FNF Board and the dedicated staff team to play a leading role in overcoming some of these challenges and improving outcomes for patients.”

Simon steps into the role of Chair from January 2023 and will be leading the roll-out of FNF’s ambitious new strategy, which aims to reach one million nurses and midwives, around the world, by 2027.

Professor Greta Westwood, CEO of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, says: “We are thrilled to have Simon join us at FNF in the New Year. His experience and passion for strong healthcare means he is ideally placed as we work to further grow our reach. I am excited about working together with Simon and the rest of our Trustees to ensure continued and new collaborations and opportunities for us to support nurses and midwives.”

We are immensely grateful to our outgoing Chair, Dame Yvonne Moores – former Chief Nursing Officer for England, Wales and Scotland – for her ongoing leadership over the past years. In particular we would like to thank her for the organisational step-change she led, which has greatly extended FNF’s reach and has culminated in the development of our bold new strategy.

Of her handover of the Chair role at the Florence Nightingale Foundation, Yvonne says: “I am immensely proud of how the Foundation has transformed during my time here – most recently under the inspiring vision of Professor Greta Westwood CBE. It has grown from an organisation that no longer serves just the few, but rather the many; whilst remaining true to its core purpose – to support the leadership development of nurses and midwives. I am very pleased to hand over the baton of FNF Chair to Simon and I will continue to enjoy supporting the Foundation and its marvellous work.”

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