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First nurse in Trust history becomes professor

Date: 21 October 2021

Dr Catherine Evans (pictured) has become the first nurse in Trust history to become a professor. 

The honorary nurse consultant’s promotion by King’s College London has also made her the first nurse to hold a professorship in palliative care at the university’s Cicely Saunders Institute, a world leader in the field in clinical research and education. 

SCFT Chief Nurse Donna Lamb said: “Catherine’s professorship is testament to her commitment and drive to improve care through nurse-led clinical research. 

“I am delighted that her achievements have been recognised and am very proud that an SCFT senior nurse is one of only ten in the UK who hold professoriates in palliative care. 

“Her clinical leadership to the Frailty programme is vital to ensuring we continue to deliver excellence in end of life care in the community.” 

King’s said Catherine’s professorship would play a pivotal role for nursing leadership in palliative care and community nursing, and for nurses and clinicians pursing research in their clinical careers. 

It said the former clinical reader would lead on applied health research and clinical research focused on palliative care and older people, and strategic work on integration of research to deliver evidence-based community healthcare. 

Catherine’s research is delivering new service models of integrated community palliative care for older adults with non-malignant conditions living at home, in care homes and in transition between hospital and home and requiring intermediate care. 

She is currently co-leading a large programme, EMBED-care, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and designed to improve end-of-life care for people with dementia. 

Catherine said she was “delighted” to be appointed a professor of palliative care. 

She said: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to provide leadership and profile for nurses in the community in their vital work delivering palliative and end of life care within the multi-disciplinary team and with specialists in palliative care. 

“I am hugely grateful to friends and family, and my colleagues at SCFT and the Institute, for their support in my career and I am looking forward to continuing and growing this collaboration - and to the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), whose creation and funding of an integrated clinical academic career pathway made possible my pursuit and success as a clinical-academic in nursing.” 

Professor Richard Harding, Director of the Cicely Saunders Institute, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care, at King’s, said he was “delighted” the university had recognised Catherine’s academic success. 

He said: "As a clinical academic she brings a wealth of experience to ensure that our research is informed by current challenge in practice, and is impactful for patients and families.”