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We’ve appointed the UK’s first male chief nurse of South Asian heritage

We’ve appointed Steve Forsyth as our new Chief Nurse.

Steve will take over the role from Sheila Lloyd, who retires in March, and joins the trust from recent senior roles in North Wales and in the West Midlands.

Steve Forsyth, who is of Indian and Scottish heritage, will start the role in April and will bring 24 years’ nursing experience to the executive role at the trust.

Over the last two decades, Steve has worked in criminal justice, physical health and mental health services. A registered nurse in both adult nursing and mental health, Steve is a qualified best interest assessor and is trained to carry out eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR).

Steve’s nursing career began in 1997 with his nurse training and a b grade role as a care assistant. He was inspired by his mother, Inderjit, who came to the UK from India in October 1959, qualified as a nurse in 1975 and is still practising almost 50 years later.

Speaking about the chief nurse appointment, our Chief Executive Toby Lewis, said: “We are thrilled that the Trust has attracted a leader with Steve’s values and skills. Having started in the NHS as a b grade care assistant and with his mother still working as a practice nurse after almost five decades, the profession is key to Steve’s identity.

“Steve will be at the heart of making a reality of our 28 promises to better nurture the power in our communities. The authenticity of his commitment to staff, carers, patients and our communities is immediately apparent. I look forward to working with and learning from him.”

The role of chief nurse leads professionally the largest group of clinical staff in our organisation. The post also takes responsibility for volunteering, safeguarding and infection control. Freedom to speak up arrangements at the trust are championed through the role, which leads on organisational safety and care quality.

Wolverhampton born Steve, who is humbled to be the UK’s first male chief nurse of South Asian heritage, said: “As a proud brown man and from a global majority background, navigating the NHS has not always been easy for me. My mum inspired me to get into nursing and I am very grateful for the opportunities that I have been given over the last few years.”

“I love people, their stories and the opportunity to play a part in improving lives, reducing health inequalities, enhancing access to care and ensuring people receive nothing short of the safest and best quality care.”

“I am really excited to join the RDaSH team and to have the privilege of leading, shaping and inspiring its nursing workforce.”

Steve is also a member of the national global majority chief nurse officer group, an active and proud member of the Jabali Network, the Nola Ishmael Executive Nurses Group, Asian Professionals National Alliance (APNA) and British Indian Nurses Association (BINA).

We launched our 28 promises to patients, staff and the public last year as part of our new clinical and organisational strategy 2023 to 2028.

Steve Forsyth, Chief Nurse

Published: January 24, 2024

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