Nuffield Health: Alison McCourt

Alison McCourt, Nuffield Health
Alison McCourt

Healthcare charity Nuffield Health has appointed Alison McCourt as clinical services director, to provide leadership to clinical teams across its hospitals, fitness and wellbeing centres, healthcare clinics, and workplace wellbeing services.

McCourt will join Nuffield Health in August after leaving the British Army which she joined as a nurse in 1988.

McCourt has been deployed to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Sierra Leone as a British Army nurse. She commanded 22 Field Hospital (the UK’s military hospital at high readiness to be deployed anywhere in the world) and was awarded the OBE for her role to combat the Ebola crisis in 2014 in Sierra Leone.

She was promoted to colonel and the head of health strategy at the end of 2015, with responsibility for all healthcare governance in the British Army, before being appointed as chief nursing officer in 2018 and awarded a CBE for her leadership of military nursing.

McCourt was then appointed Commander Medical for 3 (UK) Division with technical command of all medical facilities and delivery and planning of healthcare for the 30,000 strong division worldwide. As part of this role, she was deployed to support NHS England and Improvement to plan and establish the Nightingale Hospitals in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, remaining for a further year as deputy chief operating officer, reporting to current NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard throughout the first 18 months of the pandemic.

After this, McCourt became the first female and nurse to be appointed as Commander 2nd Medical Brigade, becoming a brigadier. She returned to NHS England and Improvement for four weeks over Christmas and New Year to lead a small group of military planners tasked to work alongside the Covid vaccine delivery taskforce to accelerate the booster vaccination programme. This work resulted in all eligible adults in UK being offered a booster jab before the end of January this year.

McCourt said: “To me, Nuffield Health is an organisation which exemplifies best practice in delivering exceptional clinical care and meeting unmet health needs through its charitable aims. The passion of its senior leaders and committed workforce aligns to my personal and professional ethos.”

Caroline Smith, Nuffield Health’s chief quality and operating officer, said: “Alison’s appointment is fantastic news for the charity. She brings with her extensive knowledge and experience gained through her distinguished career as a senior clinician in the military. Her leadership skills, demonstrated by transforming nursing in the British Army and in her strategic role at NHS England and Improvement, will be vital as Nuffield Health’s clinical teams emerge from the pandemic and respond to the evolving healthcare needs of our local communities. Alison’s inclusive style of leadership and experience across different sectors and continents will help us to achieve our aim of providing an inclusive and learning culture that supports our nurses, clinicians and hospital teams to ensure we continue to deliver the highest quality outcomes and best experience to the people we care for.”

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