Nursing and midwifery charity the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) has appointed a new chair, it has been announced.
Simon Gillespie will take on the role following the departure of Dame Yvonne Moores, who has been at the organisation for almost four years.
Mr Gillespie is currently a specialist advisor to the World Health Organisation (Europe) and in 2019 received an OBE “for services to patients and to medical research”.
Previously he was chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, president of the European Heart Network and has senior experience in other medical research, health and care charities.
On his appointment, Mr Gillespie said he was “privileged and delighted” to take on the role at the FNF, which works to develop nurse and midwife leaders, to improve care and save lives, through its various leadership development programmes.
He said: “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.”
Mr Gillespie will step into the role from January 2023, and will lead the roll-out of the FNF’s ambitious new strategy, which aims to see the charity become global and develop one million nursing and midwifery leaders around the world by 2027.
The charity has also paid tribute to its outgoing chair, Dame Yvonne, for her leadership.
On her handover of her role as chair, Dame Yvonne said: “I am immensely proud of how the foundation has transformed during my time here – most recently under the inspiring vision of Professor Greta Westwood.
“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.”