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Wales’s New Chief Nursing Officer Takes up Post

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Sue Tranka today takes up the post of Wales’s Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), bringing with her almost 30 years of nursing experience.

Originally from South Africa where she qualified as a midwife, registered general nurse, mental health and community nurse, Sue has been working for the NHS for 22 years in both operational and clinical leadership roles.

Sue has considerable experience in patient safety and quality improvement. Since January 2020, she has been working for NHS England where she led on the national nursing response for COVID as Deputy CNO for Patient Safety and Innovation. Protecting staff and patients from nosocomial transmission of COVID has been a key focus of her work since the start of the pandemic.

She brings a wealth of expertise to her new role with the Welsh Government and is now looking forward to meeting the nursing workforce in Wales and supporting and leading them through the pandemic recovery.

Sue Tranka says:

During this unprecedented time, I have witnessed the immense contribution of our profession and I am incredibly proud of how they have stepped up to deliver care for our patients, in and out of hospital. I am also grateful to all those who came out of retirement to support their colleagues, and we will look to retain their expertise now as we focus on the future.

It is imperative that as we restore services we pay close attention to the health and wellbeing of our most precious asset in the NHS: our workforce. Our nursing workforce have shown great resilience at this difficult time, and I am mindful that in keeping themselves and their colleagues safe, this has sometimes come at great personal cost.

We have dealt with many challenges during this time and we will need to redouble our efforts on enhancing recruitment, and focusing on the right retention strategies. This pandemic is not over yet, but I’m looking forward to meeting, listening and talking with the Welsh nursing workforce as we reflect on the past 18 months and build for the future.

NHS Wales Chief Executive Andrew Goodall says:

I’m delighted to welcome Sue to Wales and to her new role leading the nursing profession here. This has been – and continues to be – a challenging time for the NHS and I know that Sue is keen to meet the workforce and understand the pressures they are facing so that we can support them as we move into the COVID recovery period. Her broad experience and knowledge will be a great asset to us during this time and I’m looking forward to working with her.