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Highly respected chief nurse retires after 43-year NHS career

Elaine Inglesby-Burke compared to nurse pioneers Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole

Elaine Inglesby-Burke compared to nurse pioneers Florence Nightingale, Professor Dame Hilary Chapman and Mary Seacole

A pioneering chief nurse has retired after working in the NHS for 43 years.

Elaine Inglesby-Burke, group chief nursing officer at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA), stepped down this month.

A significant impact on UK nursing

Englands chief nursing officer (CNO) Ruth May described Ms Inglesby-Burkes work as of national importance.

She said: There are about a handful of nurse leaders in England that have had such a significant impact on nursing, such as Florence Nightingale, Professor Dame Hilary Chapman and Mary Seacole. I hold Elaine in the same regard.

Elaine Inglesby-Burke compared to nurse pioneers Florence Nightingale, Professor Dame Hilary Chapman and Mary Seacole

Elaine Inglesby-Burke, whose work has been described as of ‘national importance’
Elaine Inglesby-Burke’s work has been described as of national importance

A pioneering chief nurse has retired after working in the NHS for 43 years.

Elaine Inglesby-Burke, group chief nursing officer at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA), stepped down this month.

A ‘significant impact’ on UK nursing

England’s chief nursing officer (CNO) Ruth May described Ms Inglesby-Burke’s work as of ‘national importance’.

She said: ‘There are about a handful of nurse leaders in England that have had such a significant impact on nursing, such as Florence Nightingale, Professor Dame Hilary Chapman and Mary Seacole. I hold Elaine in the same regard.’

Ms Inglesby-Burke was part of former prime minister David Cameron’s Nursing and Care Quality Forum and was the only nurse selected to be on the Berwick National Advisory Group on the Safety of Patients in England, set up following the Francis Inquiry report on care failings at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

She was awarded a CBE for services to nursing in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and in 2019 was awarded NHS England’s first national CNO’s Gold Award for Nursing.

A career focused on safety and patient experience

Ms Inglesby-Burke qualified as a registered nurse in 1980 at Warrington District General Hospital and has worked in the North West in a variety of positions, including ward manager and nurse specialist.

She is also a Florence Nightingale leadership scholar and has held executive nurse director positions since 1996. She became Salford Royal’s chief nurse in 2004.

NCA chief executive Raj Jain said: ‘In every meeting and discussion, whether at board level or ward level, in every contact with staff and patients, in everything that she has led or worked on, the patient has always been core of Elaine’s viewpoint.

‘She has always reminded us of the most important aspect to our work – safety and the patient experience.’


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