This handbook is a practical guide for those who aspire to be a matron, those who are already in post and for organisations that want to support this important role. It can be used to prepare ward, department and service leaders for the matron’s role and support newly appointed matrons. Experienced matrons should use the handbook to confirm their skills and help them prepare for their career development. It identifies key aspects of the matron’s role, with quality of care as the guiding principle.

The handbook should be used by those working within the scope of the matron’s role. This includes nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

Its purpose is to support matrons’ personal development, help matrons have an impact on senior healthcare leadership and encourage healthcare professionals to take up the matron’s role. It aims to reinforce the importance of the matron’s role in delivering high quality care using visionary skills, looking beyond the clinical skills needed for strategic inclusive leadership.

An important element of the handbook concerns ethnic minority staff development. This is a national priority to ensure equality and diversity in the workforce. It is important because we recognise that our staff are our greatest asset, and when they feel supported and happy in work this positivity reaches those very people we are here for – our patients. We are committed to creating a fairer and more diverse NHS for everyone. One way we intend to support this is by developing and supporting ethnic minority staff and staff with any protected characteristic, to progress into senior roles.

The matron’s role in this is to contribute to addressing and solving problems for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups and individuals within their organisations, ensuring that the needs of the diverse workforce are met and health inequalities are addressed. This should be undertaken using the nationally and locally available resources to promote and facilitate this, which are available from the Workforce Race Equality Standard, NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Royal College of Nursing, NHS Leadership Academy, King’s Fund, NHS Confederation and other networks and organisations.

Hilary GarrattHilary Garratt CBE, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England, Professional and System Leadership.





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