QMU's first nursing chair to focus on person centred care and dementia

By Press Office

A specialist in person centred practice has just been appointed as the first named chair in nursing at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Professor Jan Dewing, who has an international reputation for expertise in re-enablement and gerontological practice including dementia care, took up her new position as The Sue Pembrey Chair in Nursing at the beginning of April.

Professor Dewing has spent the last four years working in a specialist partnership role with Canterbury  Christchurch University and East Sussex Community Health NHS Trust where she was pivotal in developing a person centred approach to nursing. In the last year, she has also held a professorship at the Centre for Care Research Bergen University College and Stord-Haugesund University College Norway and at The School of Nursing, Wollongong University, Australia.

As well as a significant clinical practice record, Professor Dewing has held a variety of education and research posts in universities in the UK, Australia and Norway, and with The Royal College of Nursing.

Professor’s Dewing’s research expertise in dementia and person centred practice will help strengthen and expand Queen Margaret University’s focus on person centredness – an important area of research which was introduced to the University by the appointment of Professor Brendan McCormack as QMU’s Head of Division of Nursing in 2014. The recent investment of specialist staff within the Division is paving the way for a new strategic direction within the university and will see Queen Margaret University create a new research centre for person centred practice.

The Sue Pembrey Chair was named after the renowned nurse leader, who was not only recognised as a leading innovator in the field of person centred practice, but was one of the key drivers behind the development of university education for nurses. Sue Pembrey was known as a leading light in nursing practice development, having set up the National Institute for Nursing in Oxford, as well as someone who took time to nurture key staff who would go on to contribute significantly to the nursing profession, both in the UK and internationally. To Brendan McCormack, Sue was an inspirational leader, who helped him secure funding for his doctorate and then appointed him as one of two Clinical Lecturers in Nursing at Oxford Brookes University. In the last year, while working as Head of Division of Nursing at Queen Margaret University, Professor McCormack has been heralded as the first European nurse to be honoured in the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame (Sigma Theta Tau International).  

Professor McCormack said: “Sue Pembrey was a phenomenal woman who helped shape nursing in the UK and who supported and helped develop the careers of many key professionals from the National Institute for Nursing such as Professor  Angie Titchen and Professor Steve Errser. Sue Pembrey was a visionary who understood the importance of expert clinical practice as an academic discipline – something that is still an issue today in nursing.

“In 2013 Sue sadly passed away  but we were keen to honour her passing. We, and her family, are delighted that her legacy will continue through Professor Jan Dewing's work as The Sue Pembrey Chair.

Professor Jan Dewing will play a key role in driving forward specific areas of the University’s new strategic framework for its Division of Nursing. The new strategy, which was launched in April at the University’s first TEDx conference, focuses on four strategic ‘pillars’ of activity across all areas of nursing practice -  teaching and learning; research and practice development; commercialisation and internationalisation. Professor Dewing’s work will be pivotal in the strategic pillar of Gerontological Nursing and Dementia Care, but she will also contribute to the three other pillars of Managing Long-term Conditions; Palliative and End of Life Care; and Social and Public Health Across the Lifespan.

Professor McCormack concluded: “Professor Dewing has positively influenced nursing practice in both the UK and abroad and we are delighted that our staff and student teams will benefit from her insight and strategic direction, in particular her significant knowledge in practice development and person-centred dementia care.”

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager at Queen Margaret University on E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk , T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239, or Jon Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk , T: 0131 474 0000.

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