'A well trained workforce is key to success'

Donna Kinnair has been nurse adviser for the Victoria Climbié inquiry and emergency department clinical director at a troubled trust in Essex.  She talks to Jennifer Trueland about her career so far.

As a child, Donna Kinnair had wanted to be a nurse but did not begin training for the profession until after she had started a family.  She has been nurse adviser for the Victoria Climbié inquiry and emergency department clinical director at a troubled trust in Essex, and is about to become head of nursing at the RCN.

Abstract

When Dame Donna Kinnair started work as emergency department clinical director in one of the most troubled trusts in the country, she admits she was apprehensive.  In the majors department at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), Essex, patients were ‘six rows deep’, staff morale was low and vacancy rates were high.

‘When I went in to the department, nurses were invisible,’ she says. ‘That had to change. When we talk about “clinicians”, who everyone is desperate to involve, we don’t think about nursing. Yet nurses are the people who deliver care to patients, and they have to take responsibility for that.’

Almost two years on, Professor Kinnair is leaving the job to become head of nursing at the RCN. This is the latest step in a career in which she has moved from management at Marks & Spencer to a succession of nursing, child protection and commissioning roles.

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This article was published under the original title 'Finding solutions' in Emergency Nurse, 8 May 2015, volume 23, issue 2. 

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