Professor Greta Westwood, CEO of the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List 2021 for services to Nursing and Midwifery.
Professor Westwood, a Registered Nurse for over thirty-seven years returned to the frontline during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic at her local NHS hospital, Portsmouth University Hospitals NHS Trust (PUHT) to support frontline nurses and midwives. Professor Westwood is planning to return again this Winter as hospital admissions soar.
At the start of the pandemic Professor Westwood recognised the growing, and hence very urgent need for preventative interventions to mitigate the development of mental health problems for nurses and midwives working on the frontline, the first point of care for patients. With her team at FNF, she led the development of the Nightingale Frontline: Leadership Support Service, and it was successfully launched within a month. This service provides a safe space for nurses and midwives who work with trained facilitators to share leadership challenges and fears about nursing in a pandemic. Feelings of distress and isolation, often overlooked in a crisis, continue as healthcare demand grows during this pandemic. This service has now supported over 1,500 nurses and midwives and will support many more as this pandemic continues into 2021.
Professor Greta Westwood said, “I am overwhelmed, honoured and very humbled to be recognised in this way. I have been a Registered Nurse for thirty-seven years and every day I wear that badge of honour with pride. Everything I have done and continue to do is always to develop the nursing and midwifery workforce to improve the care we give. I would like to recognise and thank my team and Trustees in supporting my vision”
“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my nursing career. I have been inspired by some amazing nursing leaders and I hope my award will help to inspire others. This award means so much to me in this year, following the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale.”
Dame Yvonne Moores, Chair of the Florence Nightingale Foundation said: “I am delighted that Greta has been recognised in such a wonderful way. By selflessly returning to the frontline during this catastrophic pandemic, truly shows her steadfast commitment and dedication to the profession. This is the perfect way to recognise all she has achieved throughout her career and a perfect tribute to the Florence Nightingale Foundation.”
Greta qualified as a nurse in 1983 and a midwife in 1987 in Southampton.
She specialised in Clinical Genetics and was one of the first Genetic Counsellors in the Wessex Clinical Genetics Service from 1987-2007 and helped to establish the now Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (GCRB). She completed an MSc in Health Psychology in 1996 and held the first clinical academic post with the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Southampton from 2000-2005.
In 2008 she established and then led the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Wessex providing hundreds of research nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (AHPs) to support the delivery of clinical trials and research studies. She completed a PhD in Nursing in 2010.
Greta returned to a clinical academic role in 2012 with PUHT and the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton as Director of Clinical Academic Practice working with the now NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Wessex. She developed and led the university’s clinical academic training programme for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (AHPs) and was promoted to Adjunct Professor for this enterprising work.
Greta joined the Florence Nightingale Foundation in 2017 as the Chief Operating Officer and has been the Chief Executive Officer since September 2019.