The matron’s handbook – foreword

For aspiring and experienced matrons


Matrons are vital to delivering high quality care to patients and their relatives across the NHS and the wider health and care sector. They are instrumental in promoting high standards of clinical care, reducing health inequalities and promoting equality for all, workforce retention and recruitment, staff education and development, compassionate, inclusive leadership and patient safety.

The matron’s role is the cornerstone of improving the quality of patient care. They do this through visible inclusive leadership and engagement with patients and families, frontline staff and senior management teams. Matrons provide key assurance to the board, providing evidence that the organisation is delivering safe care and supporting and developing staff to fulfil their roles. The matron’s role spans all fields within the healthcare setting, including acute, community and mental health services.

It seems apposite that we are launching this Matron’s Handbook in 2020, the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. This is a year we are celebrating commemorating and supporting the future of the professions.

At my first Chief Nursing Officer’s (CNO) summit I spoke about my priorities, the biggest being workforce – ensuring a workforce fit for the future and celebrating all the work of #teamCNO. I see all nurses, midwives and care staff as members of this team. My second priority is raising the profile of nursing with renewed pride in what we do as professionals. I spoke of how immensely proud I am of the sheer breadth of our clinical, technical and academic excellence. I see evidence of this in every visit I make to services across England. My third priority is that we, as professionals, speak with a powerful collective #teamCNO #1professional voice, celebrating what we do and collectively forging the future direction of the nursing and midwifery professions.

Matrons in all health and care settings have a huge role to play in delivering these priorities and are critical to ensuring that people and populations access and receive high quality, safe care. They are critical to providing inclusive leadership and support for staff, empowering them to do what is right for all patients and families, to ensure safe and effective care while reducing inequality wherever it is seen.

This matron’s handbook is intended to highlight, reinforce and celebrate the critical role matrons play in health and care services across England. The handbook should be used to prepare staff as leaders for the matron’s role and to support newly appointed matrons. Experienced matrons should use it to confirm their skills and support their development further. This handbook is intended as a practical tool for matrons and their teams, and I hope you find it helpful. Thank you for all that you do every day – for patients and for our profession.

This matron’s handbook was co-designed with matrons nationally and #teamCNO. Annesha Archyangelio wrote the handbook during her role as Nursing Fellow in Professional Leadership at NHS England and NHS Improvement.

RRuth Mayuth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England.






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