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OUH Chief Nursing Officer appointed to national role

19/12/2022

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH), has been appointed as Executive Director of Professional Practice with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) - she will take up her new role in April 2023.

Sam will be responsible for shaping and supporting safe, effective and kind practice for nurses and midwives across the UK and for nursing associates (in England). She will also lead reviews of some of the NMC's regulatory tools including the Code, which sets out the professional standards of practice and behaviour that the public can expect from nurses, midwives and nursing associates, and revalidation.

Professor Meghana Pandit, OUH Chief Executive Officer, communicated the news in a personal message to all OUH staff today (Monday 19 December 2022).

She said: "I am sure you will join with me in congratulating Sam on her appointment to this new role and in thanking her for her significant contribution to OUH and the wider health and care system in Oxfordshire over the past five years since she joined us from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

"Sam has not only provided strong and visible leadership for our nurses, midwives and nursing associates but also been the Executive Director lead for Estates and Facilities, PFI services, capital development, and Health and Safety.

"She worked on the front line in critical care during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and played a key role in our COVID-19 vaccination programme, including administering the dose to OUH patient Brian Pinker who was the first person in the world to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the Churchill Hospital in January 2021.

"More recently, she has played a key role in liaising with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and with nursing colleagues throughout the Trust to prioritise patient safety and maintain kind and respectful behaviours between our people during the RCN industrial action.

"Sam has also established, maintained and developed close working relationships with colleagues across the Oxfordshire health and care system as the acute sector lead for urgent and emergency care, which will stand us in good stead for the future."

Sam Foster said: "I feel privileged to have been the Chief Nursing Officer at OUH for the past five years and I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their support and friendship. As an Executive and clinical leadership team we have achieved so much together and dealt with so many challenges.

"As a team I am particularly proud of our progress in the reduction of harm, the development and rollout of our Oxford Scheme for Clinical Accreditation (OxSCA) programme, our focus on developing leadership, and our partnership with the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and Oxford Hospitals Charity to progress the capability and capacity of Nursing, Midwifery and AHP leadership.

"As joint lead for urgent and emergency care in Oxfordshire, while our services are challenged as they are nationally, I believe that we have developed strong system relationships that will continue to improve pathways of care for patients."

Andrea Sutcliffe, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, added: "We're incredibly excited about the wealth of experience in practice and education that Sam will bring to her new role as our Executive Director of Professional Practice. She will have the opportunity to shape the practice of nursing and midwifery professionals for many years to come. Sam will play a vital leadership role not only within our organisation, but also for nursing and midwifery as a whole."