London trust appoints one of the UK’s first Asian Chief Nurses

Avey Bhatia will succeed Dame Eileen Sills who has been in the role since 2005.

Matt Bodell
3 July 2020
Avey Bhatia

Avey is returning to the Trust having worked there as a critical care nurse previously.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has announced the appointment of Avey Bhatia as the Trust’s new Chief Nurse.

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She will succeed Dame Eileen Sills, who is stepping down as Chief Nurse having been in the role since 2005.

Avey joins from St Georges’ University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where she was appointed Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control in 2017. Since February this year she has been carrying out the role of Chief Operating Officer, helping to lead the Trust’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Avey is returning to the Trust having trained as a critical care nurse at St Thomas’ in the early part of her career. Since then, she has held a number of senior nursing leadership roles, including Chief Nurse posts at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and South London Healthcare NHS Trust. She also holds a Masters in Public Administration.

An unprecedented time.

Avey Bhatia says; “I am very excited and proud to be joining Guy’s and St Thomas’ at this important and unprecedented time for the NHS.

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“Outstanding patient care, quality and diversity underpin both my personal values and those of the Trust, and I am also a passionate believer in the importance of professional development, training and education for the whole workforce.

“This is a huge opportunity for me personally and professionally. As one of the first Asian Chief Nurses of a hospital Trust in the UK, I have personal experience of the challenges and barriers some colleagues face in advancing their careers and I am committed to playing my part in addressing these.

“I am delighted to be returning to an organisation where I spent a very happy part of my critical care training and which has most recently played such an important role in the pandemic response.”

Last year a report by NHS England’s Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) revealed that Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) staff remain underrepresented in the most senior NHS roles.

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Delighted.

Ian Abbs, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’, added; “I am delighted to welcome Avey as the new Chief Nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’. She was the outstanding candidate in a very strong field.

“Her significant depth and breadth of experience, new perspectives, and proven commitment to patients and staff will make her a valuable addition to our leadership team.

“We very much look forward to her taking up her new role in the autumn.

“I would also like to pay tribute to Eileen Sills and thank her for her exceptional service and the huge contribution she has made to nursing, both here at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and to the wider NHS.”

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