Dame Elizabeth Fradd obituary


Ignoring her college’s recommendation that “you’ll by no means make a nurse”, in 1967 Elizabeth Fradd utilized to coach at Westminster hospital in London. Graduating prime of her class, Fradd, who has died aged 75, rose to the peak of the career, changing into assistant chief nursing officer for England (1999-2000), and made key enhancements in kids’s and neighborhood care.

Appalled by the case of Beverley Allitt, the nurse convicted in 1993 of murdering 4 infants and making an attempt to homicide or severely hurt one other 9, in 2000 Fradd helped arrange the Fee for Well being Enchancment (now the Care High quality Fee) to research main system failures in hospitals, after which grew to become its lead director for evaluation and inspection.

Within the Nineteen Seventies Fradd, who had specialised as a kids’s nurse, was a ward sister at Westminster kids’s hospital, caring for youngsters with bone marrow transplants. One in every of her sufferers was Anthony Nolan. Following his demise in 1979 Fradd helped his mom Shirley arrange a charity in his identify, which has saved hundreds of lives by means of its stem cell register programme.

Between 1983 and 1999 Fradd held more and more senior kids’s nursing positions in Nottingham and the West Midlands, which gave her scope to implement her concepts. One was to arrange an in a single day unit the place mother and father might keep. “Households coming into hospital,” she stated “are company in our home and we should always make them welcome.” She additionally instigated “negotiated care” – mother and father had been requested what they want, and will take part in duties corresponding to feeding. She even allowed pets to go to on the wards.

Whereas at Nottingham, Fradd began a kids’s neighborhood nursing service, in order that kids on the finish of life, or with diabetes or cystic fibrosis, might depart hospital and be nursed at dwelling. Her colleague Dr Sheila Marriott stated Fradd had immense power and labored extremely arduous to organise this service. Neighborhood nursing was extraordinarily essential to Fradd, and he or she labored with the Nursing and Midwifery Council within the 90s to create a set of requirements for neighborhood nursing and a postgraduate programme.

Fradd’s hardest problem, nevertheless, was managing the kids’s nursing service in Grantham, Lincolnshire, within the aftermath of the Beverley Allitt scandal at Grantham and Kesteven hospital in 1993. Employees on the hospital’s kids’s unit had been horrified and demoralised, and Marriott described Fradd’s management at the moment as “extraordinarily type and intuitive in an terrible scenario”.

The expertise took her profession down a brand new path. Fradd stated: “You possibly can’t be concerned in one thing like that with out asking time and again ‘How might this have occurred?’”

She had a expertise for problem-solving and needed to stop additional such failures within the NHS. In 2000 she was instrumental in organising the Fee for Well being Enchancment; as its lead director for evaluation and inspection (2000-04), she oversaw 700 critiques of NHS hospitals and investigations into failures.

From 2004 to 2016, Fradd served as an unbiased well being adviser and was concerned in lots of Division of Well being initiatives, together with chairing the Well being Customer Taskforce in 2011, with a short to rejuvenate the service, and contributing to the report Entrance Line Care (2010) on the way forward for nursing and midwifery.

She additionally helped arrange the kids’s charity Collectively for Quick Lives, changing into its vice-president in 2011, and was a trustee or patron of many different charities, together with Sue Ryder Care and Rainbows Hospice. In 2009 Fradd was made a dame.

One of many 4 kids of Harriet (nee Abey), a former trainer, and the Rev Allen Birtwhistle, a Methodist minister, Elizabeth was born in Worcester Park, Surrey. She attended Farringtons, a Methodist boarding college in Kent, the place she was sad and yearned for her father’s visits (he was the varsity’s minister). Regardless of the varsity’s downbeat evaluation of her prospects (they stated she had solely “manipulable abilities”, which means in needlework and cookery), she utilized to review nursing, inspired by a surgeon buddy of her mother and father, and certified in 1971.

Shortly after qualifying, she met the actor Glenda Jackson in a London artwork gallery. Jackson was as a consequence of begin filming in Spain and wanted a nanny for her son, Daniel. Elizabeth jumped on the probability, not least as a result of it gave her the chance to take care of a baby who was not ailing and was growing usually. It was the beginning of an extended friendship and Jackson’s quiet confidence and unstarry integrity impressed Elizabeth.

She returned to London with new confidence, and 6 months later rose to develop into a ward sister. She studied all through her profession, qualifying as a well being customer and midwife, and acquired an MSc in healthcare coverage in 1994.

In 1976 Elizabeth married Dr Simon Fradd. They divorced in 1998 however remained on good phrases. She loved protecting energetic and snowboarding into her 70s in addition to enjoying an essential half in Nottingham civic life: in 2020-21 she was town’s excessive sheriff. She lived within the village of Tollerton, to the south-east, for 30 years, opening her fantastically stored backyard to the general public in 2002-04 as a part of the Nationwide Gardens Scheme to boost cash for nursing charities.

She is survived by her brothers, John and David, and her sister, Rachel.


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