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Following an extensive clinical and teaching career, Tony became the inaugural Queen’s Nursing Institute Professor of Community Nursing at the University of Manchester in 1987.

He was invited by the UK Secretary of State for Health to lead a Government review of mental health nursing in 1994 and became General Secretary for the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centres for Nursing in 1997. Following periods as a Head of Department and Dean of School, he became a Pro-Vice Chancellor for external affairs for the University of Manchester in 1998.

He returned to an appointment in the NHS as Chief Executive for Trent Workforce Confederation in 2001 and became Director of a Research Centre for Clinical and Academic Workforce Innovation at the University of Lincoln in 2005. He and his team led the UKCRC review of Clinical Academic Careers for nursing and the health professions.

A Non-Executive Director of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement from its inception, he was invited by the Secretary of State for Health to be Chairman until its closure in 2013. Tony has supervised 23 PhDs to successful completion, authored or co-authored 6 text books and writes extensively in peer reviewed and professional journals.

He is presently Chair of the Foundation for Nursing Studies, Chairman of the Social Care Improvement Group Advisory Board and a Trustee of the RCN Foundation. He is Chairman of the Charity’s Benevolent Committee. Tony holds visiting academic appointments to Waterford Institute in Ireland and the University of Maribor in Slovenia and has worked extensively in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Europe.