Irene trained as a nurse in Manchester from 1972 to 1975, specialising in care of the elderly. She was appointed to her first Executive Director position at the Christie Hospital in 1986. Over the past 34 years, Irene has held nine executive roles including Director of Nursing at Leicester Royal Infirmary, Guy’s and St Thomas’, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare, University Hospitals Bristol and a National Care Home Company. Irene was also Regional Director of Nursing for the West Midlands and Chief Executive Officer of the Nurse Directors Association UK. Irene was awarded an MSc from Nottingham University in 1997 and subsequently an Honorary Professor in Nursing at four universities.