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Susan Aitkenhead appointed RCN’s director for Scotland

The deputy chief nursing officer for England replaces Theresa Fyffe, who will step down at the end of January
Staff at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh

The deputy chief nursing officer for England replaces Theresa Fyffe, who will step down at the end of January

Deputy chief nursing officer for England Susan Aitkenhead is to become the RCN’s new director for Scotland.

A registered nurse for 33 years, Ms Aitkenhead was one of Scotland’s first consultant nurses and has held a range of leadership roles including at the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Department of Health in England, as well as being director of nursing for NHS England before she was appointed deputy chief nursing officer in 2019.

Susan Aitkenhead

She said she was ‘excited to be returning to my nursing roots in Scotland’.

Challenging

The deputy chief nursing officer for England replaces Theresa Fyffe, who will step down at the end of January

Staff at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh
Staff at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh Picture: PA Wire

Deputy chief nursing officer for England Susan Aitkenhead is to become the RCN’s new director for Scotland.

A registered nurse for 33 years, Ms Aitkenhead was one of Scotland’s first consultant nurses and has held a range of leadership roles including at the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Department of Health in England, as well as being director of nursing for NHS England before she was appointed deputy chief nursing officer in 2019.

Deputy chief nursing officer for England Susan Aitkenhead, who is to become the RCN’s new director for Scotland
Susan Aitkenhead

She said she was ‘excited to be returning to my nursing roots in Scotland’.

Challenging time for nursing in Scotland

Ms Aitkenhead said her aim was ‘to support nursing staff across health and social care as we move out of the pandemic into recovery and to demand action on the long-standing issues facing our profession’.

She will join the RCN next month amid a challenging time for nursing in Scotland with concerns about long-standing staffing shortages and the impact of COVID-19 on staff well-being.

Groundbreaking legislation on safe staffing was due to be implemented in Scotland from April this year but has been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

'A wealth of nursing and strategic leadership’

RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said Ms Aitkenhead brings a ‘wealth of nursing and strategic leadership’ to the college.

‘She has made it clear her priority is to ensure nursing staff in Scotland and across the UK have the support they need and the recognition they deserve,’ she said.

Ms Aitkenhead will replace current RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe, who will officially step down at the end of January after a handover period.


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