Dame Hilary Chapman, chief nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust has announced she will retire at the end of August after 32 years of nursing.

Dame Hilary has been a leading figure in nursing and helped lead the development of the Safer Nursing Care Toolkit, which transformed how hospitals can determine their patient acuity and demand to plan nurse staffing levels.

She trained as a nurse in Sheffield in the 1980s and worked at the Northern General Hospital as a staff nurse in cardiothoracic surgery and a critical care sister.

Before joining Sheffied as chief nurse in 2006, she was chief nurse at Kettering General Hospital and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Trust.

She said: “The decision to retire has been a hard one because there is no better career than nursing and to lead such a fantastic team of nurses and midwives here at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is an absolute privilege and joy. I have only been able to achieve the things I have because I have worked with incredible teams throughout my working life.

“The opportunities for nurses and midwives now have never been more varied or exciting. Of course there are challenges but at the end of the day there is nothing more satisfying than knowing you have made a difference to someone who is often at their most vulnerable. Our nurses and midwives deserve our respect and appreciation for all that they do, day in and day out right across the NHS.”

She is a visiting Professor at Sheffield Hallam University and became a deputy lieutenant of South Yorkshire last year.