Welcome to my website. If you’re interested in healthcare, health and wellbeing, health policy and international health, you may find something here of interest. I am well known in the UK and worldwide for my leadership in nursing and healthcare development, and for my widely read publications. I've held senior posts with the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery in England, the Willis Commission on Nursing Education, the World Health Organization (WHO), Nursing Times magazine, the King's Fund and elsewhere. I now work as an independent consultant, policy activist and writer.
Currently my main focus is on nursing leadership. Nurses are the largest proportion of the health workforce globally – by a large margin – and are often the only health care provider available. An important and influential force for health, and key to achieving universal health coverage, we are not central to policies and plans, at the table or on the menu. I've spent my whole career challenging this. It has to change. This is the moment to shift the paradigm, to be taken seriously, when the old certainties and ways are being shaken to the core by economic crisis, climate change, insecurity, a deep desire for stronger social solidarity, and the rising clamour of women’s voices.
For too long nurses - mostly women, of course - have been invisible, uncounted, undervalued and silenced. Now is the moment to find our individual and collective voices: not just #MeToo but also #NursesToo. We sketched out some of this new story of nursing in a recent report by the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health (Triple Impact, 2016), to which I was the principal nursing advisor. It provided a springboard for the global Nursing Now! campaign launched in February 2018.
I love helping the current and next generation of nursing leaders to develop their policy leadership competencies through my work with the Global Nursing Leadership Institute, run by the International Council of Nurses, and with groups of nurse leaders in individual countries, most recently Belize, Portugal and the United States as well as at home in the UK.
Back in the UK, I'm Writer in Residence at the School of Nursing, Kingston University and St George's, University of London - a fabulous opportunity to bring together my lifelong interest in literature (my first degree was in English literature) and my passion for developing nursing.
My training as a nurse in the East End of London fuelled my interest in the politics of health, and strengthened my commitment to social justice. These values and interests continue to inspire me, though it's hard to keep the faith in these difficult times of ideologically-driven austerity and billionaire greed. My off-duty passions include travel, theatre, literature, history, walking, swimming, and Arsenal Football Club.
Women speaking up against male oppression, and men acknowledging and changing their own behaviours, has been a very long time coming. Nurses must also find the courage to become ‘silence breakers’!