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An NHS foundation trust deputy chief executive and chief nurse has been chosen as the new deputy people officer, NHS England and Improvement have announced.
Professor Em Wilkinson-Brice will join from Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and is expected to start her new role on a part-time basis in September, before going full-time in October.
She will work closely with chief people officer Prerana Issar by developing and implementing the final version of the NHS people plan, which is expected to be published towards the end of the year. An interim NHS people plan was published in June.
Professor Wilkinson-Brice qualified as a nurse in 1992 and has worked for the NHS for the past 30 years. She has covered different leadership roles, including director of nursing and facilities at Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and chief operating officer at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.
Commenting on her appointment, she said: ‘This is a really exciting time to be joining NHSE/I to work with Prerana to ensure that we have a workforce with the right values, behaviours and skills to deliver the best care possible for patients.’
Ms Issar said that Professor Wilkinson-Brice’s ‘extensive leadership and clinical experience’ will be essential for the delivery of the NHS people plan and the NHS long-term plan.
She added: ‘I am absolutely delighted that Em is going to be joining us. To make the NHS People Plan a success, we will need to translate our work into a set of actions that make sense to NHS organisations, and support them to make change locally. I want to build a team that brings in experience from the front-line NHS so that we can get this right.’