Professor Juliet Beal has been appointed as the new chief nurse for Guernsey, just a few months after leaving NHS England on secondment.  

Guernsey’s Health and Social Services Department today confirmed that Professor Beal has been appointed as the island’s new chief nurse and director of clinical governance.

Professor Beal was until earlier this year NHS England’s director of nursing quality improvement and care, but recently moving to the Care Quality Commission on a six month secondment.

She joined the regulator as interim national nursing advisor for hospitals in April. Today’s announcment confirms that she will not be returning to NHS England, where she has worked since October 2012.

Prior to her job at NHS England, she was a director of nursing at the NHS South of England Strategic Health Authority.

Professor Beal will take up her new post in the Channel Islands on 16 November, following completion of her secondment at the CQC.

As chief nurse and director of clinical governance for the States of Guernsey, she will be member of the corporate manage team for Guernsey’s Health and Social Services Department.

According to the department’s job advert, she will be required to foster a “culture which values continuing professional development and strives for excellence in all aspects of patient care delivery”.

Among her “key tasks and responsibilities” will be “translating” England’s national nursing strategy Compassion in Practice into the island’s health policy – a document she helped write.

The advert added that the post came with an “attractive remuneration package”, but did not provide further financial details.

One of the more immediate tasks facing Professor Beal will be the ongoing fall-out from a damning report last year on standards of midwifery supervision on the island.

In October 2014, the entire board of the island’s health department resigned following the death of a baby, which called into question the quality of care and supervision of pregnant women.

The incident, which led to the three supervisors of midwives being suspended, related to a neonatal death where poor midwifery practice had been reported internally but not thoroughly investigated.

A review – commissioned by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and carried out by NHS England South West – subsequently concluded that standards for supervising midwives had not been met at the island’s Princess Elizabeth Hospital.

In the wake of the review, the University of East Anglia temporarily removed student nurses from wards at the hospital because of question marks about the standard of mentoring available.

Speaking on her appointment, Profesor Beal said: “I look forward to working with staff across the department and those who use health and social care services to ensure that the people of the Bailiwick of Guernsey receive the highest quality of compassionate care and excellent treatment.

“It’s an exciting time for the nursing, midwifery and allied health professions, and the opportunity to contribute to developments that will help shape the future of healthcare in Guernsey is amazing,” she said.

Professor Beal will take over from Steve Hams, who has been fulfilling the chief nurse role since November on an interim basis.