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Sue Tranka (1)

Wales’s new Chief Nursing Officer takes up post

Prif Swyddog Nyrsio Cymru yn dechrau yn ei swydd

Sue Tranka today takes up the post of Wales’s Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), bringing with her almost 30 years of nursing experience.

Originally from South Africa where she qualified as a midwife, registered general nurse, mental health and community nurse, Sue has been working for the NHS for 22 years in both operational and clinical leadership roles.

Sue has considerable experience in patient safety and quality improvement. Since January 2020, she has been working for NHS England where she led on the national nursing response for COVID as Deputy CNO for Patient Safety and Innovation. Protecting staff and patients from nosocomial transmission of COVID has been a key focus of her work since the start of the pandemic.

She brings a wealth of expertise to her new role with the Welsh Government and is now looking forward to meeting the nursing workforce in Wales and supporting and leading them through the pandemic recovery.

Sue Tranka says: “During this unprecedented time, I have witnessed the immense contribution of our profession and I am incredibly proud of how they have stepped up to deliver care for our patients, in and out of hospital. I am also grateful to all those who came out of retirement to support their colleagues, and we will look to retain their expertise now as we focus on the future.

“It is imperative that as we restore services we pay close attention to the health and wellbeing of our most precious asset in the NHS: our workforce. Our nursing workforce have shown great resilience at this difficult time, and I am mindful that in keeping themselves and their colleagues safe, this has sometimes come at great personal cost.

“We have dealt with many challenges during this time and we will need to redouble our efforts on enhancing recruitment, and focusing on the right retention strategies. This pandemic is not over yet, but I’m looking forward to meeting, listening and talking with the Welsh nursing workforce as we reflect on the past 18 months and build for the future.”

NHS Wales Chief Executive Andrew Goodall says: “I’m delighted to welcome Sue to Wales and to her new role leading the nursing profession here. This has been - and continues to be - a challenging time for the NHS and I know that Sue is keen to meet the workforce and understand the pressures they are facing so that we can support them as we move into the COVID recovery period. Her broad experience and knowledge will be a great asset to us during this time and I’m looking forward to working with her.”

Notes to editors

Sue Tranka Bio

Sue Tranka is a nurse and NHS Trust Manager in the NHS in England, and is now the Chief Nursing Officer - Nurse Director NHS Wales in the Welsh Government. She has been the Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for Patient Safety and Innovation at NHS England and Improvement since January 2020 and has held the Director of Infection prevention and control role leading the national team in their response to supporting guidance development, implementation and remobilisation of NHS services. Protecting staff and patients from nosocomial transmission of Covid has been a key focus of her work since the start of the pandemic.

Sue has 29 years of experience in nursing and has spent the last 22 years working in the National Health Service. Sue trained as a midwife, registered general nurse, mental health and community nurse. Sue’s career spans both operational and clinical leadership roles. Her passion for patient safety and quality improvement culminated in her establishing and leading a Critical Care Outreach team in a North London hospital. Sue‘s nurse consultant and leadership roles have predominantly focussed in the safety arena. Sue has a strong interest in quality improvement, human factors and safety systems.

More recently she has held a Board level role as an Executive Chief Nurse in a provider organisation. She was made an honorary visiting professor by the University of Surrey and has established links with Staffordshire University as a professional advisor on Human Factors programmes.

In October 2020, Sue was voted as one of HSJ’s 50 most influential BME people in health.