Dame Eileen joins NHS Kent and Medway as interim chief nurse

1 June 2022

We are delighted to announce Dame Eileen Sills is joining NHS Kent and Medway on an interim basis as chief nurse of the integrated care board.

Eileen, who has been a nurse for 42 years, begins today (Wednesday, 1 June) and will use the first month getting to know the area as chief nurse for the new NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board on 1 July. Picture of Dame Eileen Sills

Integrated care boards will come into effect on 1 July as the new Health and Social Care Act 2022 comes into force.

Through integrated care systems, which become statutory bodies in the act and where all health and social care partners work together to tackle health inequalities, we will develop better joined up services for our communities.

NHS Kent and Medway Chief Executive-designate Paul Bentley said: “I am incredibly pleased that Dame Eileen is joining us – she has a wealth of experience and her commitment to delivering the very best for patients and service users shines through and is exactly what we want for the future of health and social care in Kent and Medway.’’

For 22 years, Eileen was chief nurse across three different trusts, spending 15 years as chief nurse and deputy chief executive at Guy's and St Thomas' (GSST) NHS Foundation Trust.

Eileen has a reputation for strong, visible, clinical leadership and is known for her relentless drive to improve patient and staff experience, with a focus on the small things that make the biggest difference.

Most notably, was the work she led on dementia and protecting the most vulnerable, not just at GSTT, but also across London; the film she developed and led - called Barbara's Story - gained international recognition.

Eileen said: “I am absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity. I took a heart-breaking decision to retire from my role at GSTT in 2020, so I could concentrate on my cancer treatment.

“I never thought I would be able to return to a senior role in the NHS, but having had great care from the NHS, I can.

“I am very much looking forward to joining a new organisation and being part of its development and being able to make a difference to the residents of Kent and Medway.’’

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