'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

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