Community nursing charity the Queen’s Nursing Institute has announced that Head of Learning and Teaching Enhancement at the University of Sunderland, Dr John Unsworth, will be the new Chair of its Council. Dr Unsworth succeeds Kate Billingham CBE, who has retired after six years in the role.

Dr Unsworth has a background in community nursing practice, education, management and research. John trained as a nurse in Sunderland and worked in a variety of acute ward settings before moving into district nursing. He completed his specialist practitioner qualification in district nursing in 1997 and he has worked in a variety of roles including district nursing, as a specialist nurse and nurse consultant. He has a PhD from Robert Gordon University which specifically examined the influence of health care organisations on innovation and development. John is also a Queen’s Nurse.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Unsworth said, ‘I am delighted to become the Chair of the QNI which has for 130 years championed care at home and in the community. The role of community nurses in modern healthcare is as important today as it was then and I look forward to working with Council and the QNI team to ensure that the nursing contribution to integrated care is recognised and developed.’

Ms Billingham said: ‘The past six years have been an exciting time at the QNI. I am happy to be able to hand over to Dr John Unsworth who has just the right mix of expertise and vision to take the QNI forward on the next stage of its dynamic journey.’

Ms Billingham became a member of the QNI’s council in 2008 and remains a Fellow of the Institute.

The QNI is also delighted to welcome a new member of council, Nick Addyman, a practising solicitor and the son-in law of council member William Rathbone X, the direct descendant of William Rathbone VI, founder of district nursing and the Queen’s Nursing Institute. Mr Addyman said, ‘It is a privilege to be able to serve the QNI and, on behalf of my wife and two daughters, to continue the tradition of service started by their ancestor.’


For more information on the members of council or the new chair, please click here. 

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