Mary Mumvuri is the Chief Nursing Officer at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT). On International Women’s Day, Mary reflects on her career in the NHS and the women that have inspired her to become the leader she is today.
Tell us about your role and what you do
“I am the Chief Nursing Officer at CWPT, mental health nurse by background, and I am also a National Professional Advisor for mental health nursing, seconded to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
“As Chief Nursing Officer, I lead the nursing and allied health professions across the Trust, ensuring we have good systems and processes for maintaining professional standards. I am also responsible for the broad quality of care agenda within the Trust.
“It’s my role as a clinical leader to ensure we have adequate staff nursing and AHPs, with the right skills and knowledge and are continuously developed and supported, to provide the very best care possible for our patients and their loved ones.
“My second role involves providing clinical and professional advice and support to colleagues working in the mental health regulatory teams at the CQC. It’s a really privileged position to be able to shape and influence quality of care standards, both at CQC and with peers nationally and most importantly, to bring the learning back to CWPT.”
How did you get here?
“CWPT is my seventh NHS Trust. I have always found that I wanted to be in a position where I can make things happen, influence decisions and set the direction of services so a leadership role was a natural progression for me.
“In a funny way, my junior leadership journey was inspired and motivated by the lack of action and leadership responsibility from a manager I worked with many years ago. I knew I could add value and could do so much more to support staff, patients and carers and this is what prompted my first leadership step.
“I have always taken every opportunity available to develop and progress in my career, be it academically or moving between teams or across organisations in order to get the relevant experience. I look back now and feel they were risks worth taking.”
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
“International Women's Day reminds me about the women who have inspired me to be the person and the clinical leader I am today. I am fortunate to have had some fantastic women leaders who have believed in me and supported my career journey. One of those inspirational women is our very own Chief Executive, Mel Coombes who has been incredibly supportive and encouraging. I hope that directly or indirectly, I'm doing some of that for the women I work and interact with.
“It also makes me reflect and think about my experience as a BAME woman in the NHS. When I started in my first Chief Nurse role in 2016 I was the only Chief Nurse from a BAME background in a mental health and learning disability NHS trust across England, and now there a few of us. Having diverse representation at board level is so important so that women from all backgrounds know that these roles are attainable and achievable, and they can absolutely bring their unique and valuable perspectives.”