Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/nclexion/public_html/wp-content/themes/jnews/class/ContentTag.php on line 47
A clinical academic nurse has been appointed as the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group and the University of Salford’s inaugural chair of nursing.
Professor Heather Iles-Smith, from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, will take up the new role on 1 September.
“I look forward to supporting and developing the non-medical workforce to improve patient care through undertaking research”
By background, Professor Iles-Smith is a clinical academic nurse who has gained clinical and research expertise from roles across several NHS trusts and universities in the North of England.
In her new role, and the first of its kind for the organisations involved, Professor Iles-Smith will be charged with progressing plans to develop academic nursing and allied health professional career development.
Speaking about her appointment, she said she was “delighted” to be joining the organisations, adding that the inaugural role was “very fitting” during the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
“I am incredibly excited and look forward to supporting and developing the non-medical workforce to improve patient care through undertaking research,” said Professor Iles-Smith.
She added that, in collaboration with colleagues at Salford, she looked forward to supporting and developing non-medical staff to advance their research skills and develop clinical academic roles and career pathways.
Professor Iles-Smith is also a cardiac and renal nurse, and has a research portfolio that spans across the care of patients with long-term conditions, psychological wellbeing, health data and healthcare technologies.
“Our staff will benefit from the development of the non-medical research and development strategy that Heather will lead”
She has been a chief investigator for a number of studies and is a collaborator and PhD supervisor to students on a Marie Curie project that is investigating biofeedback and devices to aid the treatment of anxiety and depression.
In 2019, Professor Iles-Smith was also awarded an Health Education England post-doctoral award to investigate urinary continence of older women in secondary care.
As part of her nursing career, Professor Iles-Smith also has a wealth of experience in supporting non-medical staff to improve patient care through undertaking practice-based research.
Over the past five years she has supported more than 50 non-medical staff at the Leeds trust and beyond.
She is also known for her role as chair of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) nursing and midwifery incubator – a three-year initiative to address the lack of nurses and midwives accessing NIHR training opportunities.
Professor Iles-Smith’s arrival will coincide with that of the new chief nurse for the Northern Care Alliance (NCA) Libby McManus.
Ms McManus is set to take over from current chief nurse Elaine Inglesby-Burke who is retiring from the organisation after a 43-year career in the NHS.
Speaking about the appointment of Professor Iles-Smith, Ms Inglesby-Burke: “I couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Heather to the NCA.
“The role has been a few years in its development and to establish the post before I retire in this, the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, is doubly pleasing.”
The outgoing chief nurse added: “Our staff will benefit from greater collaboration with the University of Salford and the development of the non-medical research and development strategy that Heather will lead.”
Meanwhile, Professor Margaret Rowe, dean of the school of health and society at the University of Salford, said she was “thrilled” that the university and care alliance had come together to develop the new chair in nursing role.
“Heather is an excellent example of a clinical nurse leader – she has such a strong research profile and will bridge brilliantly across clinical nursing practice and academia,” added Professor Rowe.
“Heather will be a role model for nursing students on the importance of nurses developing and using research to ensure patients and their families receive evidence-based care.
“This is hopefully the start of more joint appointments between the two organisations.”