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The Council, Staff and Fellows of the Queen’s Nursing Institute are saddened by the recent death of Professor Dame Elizabeth Fradd, who was a Fellow of the QNI among her many other affiliations and accomplishments.

During her career, having trained as a children’s nurse, Dame Elizabeth held a variety of posts as registered nurse, midwife and health visitor. She went on to support the nursing profession nationally, becoming Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England and serving as Director of Nursing / Lead Director for reviews and inspections at the Commission for Health Improvement.

Dame Elizabeth was awarded the DBE in 2009 for services to nursing and healthcare. As well as being a Fellow of the QNI, she was a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Institute of Health Visiting.

The QNI is planning to create an enduring memorial to Dame Elizabeth to be announced in the coming weeks.

Tributes

Liz was my friend, confidante and mentor for the last 10 years. I cherish every moment of our time together and recognise her generosity in sharing her wisdom and gentle approach to providing expert support and guidance. Liz looked after Anthony Nolan when she worked at Nottingham Hospital and supported his family to create the Anthony Nolan Trust. I thanked her personally a few years ago when my sister underwent a stem cell transplant which would never have been possible without this pioneering work. Liz is leaving an enduring legacy. Her impact on the profession & on the individuals, families and communities we serve – and her kindness and humour – will never be forgotten.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive, The QNI

Liz was the consummate nurse, proud, professional, and embodied both an inquiring mind and kindness. She was also fun to be around. She and I shared a train journey once and spent it pulling together a response to a serious and significant event that Liz needed to lead. She was humble, honest, and her very being had integrity at the core. Liz has lived a rich and influential life, a leader and inspiration. She achieved so much quietly, not boastful or self-seeking, but dignified and honest. She will be missed.

Deborah Sturdy CBE, FQNI, Chief Nurse Adult Social Care, Department of Health and Social Care

She was a truly inspirational woman. I worked with her at the Department of Health when she was chairing the Health Visiting review; I represented the Institute of Health Visitors. It was an incredible period of growth for health visiting and Liz’s firm and strategic leadership steered us all in the right direction. She was insistent that numbers alone were not enough and that members of the committee should go out and talk to HV teams and NHS Trusts to gather the real picture on the ground. That was incredibly important for the profession and for babies, children and families. She really did leave a huge legacy. We will feel the loss greatly.

Sally Kendall MBE, PhD, RN, RHV, FQNI, FiHV, MFPH, Professor of Community Nursing and Public Health, University of Kent

I was privileged to work with Liz a number of times over 30 years. She was a fabulously supportive leader and mentor. Liz was always kind, knowledgeable and committed to finding ways to improve children and young people’s health and life chances. Liz was appointed as Chair of the National Health Visitor Taskforce in 2011 and, as Programme Director, I worked with her closely throughout the national Health Visiting programme. Her support and challenge approach was absolutely vital to the successful delivery of the programme.

Viv Bennett CBE, FQNI

Liz was a wonderful support and kind mentor to me when I was in the Department of Health and she was Deputy CNO. She worked tirelessly but always had time to talk and listen. Her legacy to nursing, and to the cause of quality in healthcare, is huge and will never be forgotten.

Rosemary Cook CBE, FQNI, Former Chief Executive, The Queen’s Nursing Institute

Liz and I were column writers for Nursing Times in the 90’s and I benefitted hugely from her knowledge and wise counsel. RIP.

Professor Ami David MBE, FQNI

Liz was a wonderful role model and advocate for nursing and the advancement of knowledge, and leaves an enduring legacy.

Professor Jean White CBE, FQNI

Liz gave so much to nursing and was so generous with her time and advice. I remember being inspired by her when I took my first post as a nurse manager and her support and guidance at a very difficult time in my career. Liz will be missed by many people.

Ruth Holt, FQNI

Whilst I never personally knew Liz, the legacy described is quite remarkable and simply signifies the importance of what our profession can do – quite outstanding.

Professor Brian J Webster-Henderson FQNI, Deputy Vice Chancellor & Professor of Nursing, University of Cumbria

Liz was a great friend and a mentor during my time as Director of the QNI. She was a wonderful, gentle and effective leader, a pioneer in many ways. I do remember how much she loved her garden. She worked hard in preparation for opening it up to the public through the National Garden Scheme. She was so generous in many ways. I find it hard to think she will not be at future QNI Fellows' events, it was always a great opportunity to catch up. It is such a loss to her profession, friends and family. I feel the loss deeply but shall hold on to the many happy memories of the times we spent together.

Pippa Bagnall, FQNI, Former Director, The Queen's Nursing Institute

Liz Fradd, for decades my friend and co-conspirator to raise the status of nursing, was such a strong and feisty presence that it's hard to imagine she’s gone. She was unsentimental about the profession's shortcomings, clear about the need to tackle the structural barriers to change, and delighted by good practice. She spoke her mind without compromise, with all the courage of her convictions, sometimes rather fiercely. For example, I remember her as a member of the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery in England, when I was working in the secretariat - our report Front Line Care came out in 2010. In our many discussions Liz would always cut to the chase, encouraging us to be clear and brave as well as compassionate. That, for me, is what she was, always.

Jane Salvage RGN, BA, MSc, HonLLD, HonDSc, HonDUniv, FQNI, FRCN, FRCSI, Visiting Professor, Kingston University London

From the University of Nottingham (edited)

Dame Elizabeth was an alumna of the University of Nottingham, graduating with an MSc in Health Care Policy and Organisation in 1994 before devoting her professional life to the continuous improvement of healthcare.

Her contemporary roles included commissioner on the Midlands Engine Health Inequalities Post Covid Commission, Vice-Chair of the UK children’s charity Together for Short Lives, membership of Southwell Cathedral Council and Nomination Committee and clinical advisor to Nourish. Previously, Dame Elizabeth was the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire for 2020/21, Vice President of Rainbows Children’s Hospice, and an advisor to Justice Defenders. She also opened her garden for the National Garden Scheme, raising funds for nursing and healthcare charities.

Dame Elizabeth served as Vice-President of the University of Nottingham from January 2012 through to the end of her tenure in December 2018. In addition, she was an honorary professor in the School of Health Sciences since 2000 to the present day and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the university in 2003. Elizabeth also held honorary doctorates from Wolverhampton and Birmingham City University.

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