After training as a Nurse, Dawn held a number of senior nursing posts in surgery and gastroenterology and developed her nursing career further to include community and public health nursing and held a wide range of senior nursing and leadership roles within community based healthcare for a number of years and as the Deputy Executive Director of Nursing at Newham University Hospital from 2003 to 2007 including acting as the Executive Director of Nursing for an interim period. 

She is passionate about developing clinical practice that ensures the quality improvements in healthcare are responsive to and meets the needs of patients; Dawn holds master’s degrees in Women’s studies and Inter-professional leadership in Health care respectively. 

Dawn joined the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in 2007 and has held the senior clinical governance role initially leading on embedding Equality and Diversity as a central tenant of the trust clinical governance process to support efficacious and equitable access to clinical care, as well as holding a national role as England’s Nursing Officer for Diversity at the DOH 2007 to 2009.

Since 2009 Dawn has been the trust nominated lead manager for the healthcare regulator Care Quality Commission (CQC) and in 2014 was appointed as the Deputy Director for clinical governance and performance and leads the implementation of the trusts clinical and quality governance assurance framework and organisational systems and processes across an extended organisation.

Dawn is a specialist advisor for the CQC and sits as a lay member of the UK Association for Nutrition (AfN) Regulation Committee and continues to hold her nursing registration and re-validation and is a practicing GMC Non-Medical Appraiser.

Dawn Atkinson RN RHV BSc (Hons) MA, MSc. Fellow of Royal Society of Arts.