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  • Janet Marsden

    Janet Marsden

    Janet Elizabeth Marsden


    24/01/1961 – 31/05/2018


    It is with great sadness that we report the untimely death of our dear friend, Professor Janet Marsden. Janet’s journey to becoming a stalwart of the Manchester Triage Group was, like her career in Nursing, an interesting one. Janet began her academic life as an undergraduate in Chemistry but, quickly realising that she preferred interacting with people more than she liked test tubes, changed track and undertook general nurse training at Manchester Royal Infirmary. When she qualified there were no posts in her preferred unit – the A&E Department – so she secured a post at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and undertook further education in ophthalmic nursing. This reluctant interest developed into a passion for ophthalmic nursing and, 12 months after her post registration ophthalmic qualification, she was promoted to Sister in the Emergency Eye Centre, taking over as a Senior Sister six months later. It was whilst managing this very busy department that she became involved in the development of the first iteration of the Manchester Triage System in 1994. Moving to a role as a Lecturer/Practitioner with Manchester University and the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, she further developed her interest and skills in teaching / professional development by managing the Ophthalmic Nursing Diploma.

    During this time, she developed a part time role within a second Manchester University, becoming involved in the curriculum development and delivery of Masters Degree in Practitioner Development. She was appointed to a full time Senior Lecture post at Manchester Metropolitan University in 1996, and was awarded a personal chair in Learning and Teaching in 2009, taking on the title of Professor of Ophthalmology and Emergency Care. Her MMU focus being on practice, education and research which encircle it, made her final role unique. The synergy of these three areas led to excellence in practice disciplines and therefore excellence in the care of patients, the goal of all thinking practitioners.

    With a foot in both ophthalmology and emergency practice, she has published extensively in both fields including two key ophthalmic nursing textbooks, many professional and research papers in areas of emergency care, ophthalmology and advanced practice in nursing. Her PhD was achieved via publication, concentrating in the area of advanced nursing practice. As Consultant Editor, she led the development of the International Journal of Ophthalmic Practice. Janet was also one of the original Manchester Triage Group and became an editor of ‘Emergency Triage’ from its second edition influenced and inspired triage nurses across the world. Her Master’s thesis had been on Telephone Triage and she led the drive to expand the reach of the Manchester Triage System into this medium. She was particularly proud of the immediate success of the “Telephone Triage and Advice” version that was finally published in 2015 after a 20-year gestation. She chaired the Ophthalmic Nursing Forum of the RCN for a number of years, leading projects such as a wide-ranging allied health profession collaboration on Continuing Professional Development and a competence framework for ophthalmic nursing which she introduced into Australia.

    Janet led the Centre for Effective Emergency Care (CEEC), a Masters degree in Emergency Medicine and retained roles in practice. She also had an honorary chair with City University and had very strong international links in both Emergency Care and Ophthalmology, researching and publishing with international colleagues, particularly those in New Zealand. Janet was a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and Fellow of the Faculty of Emergency Nursing. Janet recently completed a two-year appointment to the council of the Royal College of Nursing and was the chair of the Nursing Policy and Practice Committee, the key ‘professional’ decision making arm of the College. In addition she was a member of the Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee and Vice Chair of a Local Research Ethics Committee.
    Charitably Janet was a member of the Medical Advisory Group of ORBIS, for whom she also undertook regular international work. She was also a Trustee of the World Sight Foundation, her favoured charity for donations. For further information about the charity or to make a donation in Janet’s memory contact Away from the work/academic fields, Janet gave her formative years to Guiding’ following this with 30 plus years holding Group, District & County roles within Scouting. She was a lover of the outdoor life, walking long distance trails across the globe, skiing and taking any opportunity to ride horses.

    We at the MTG will miss her forthright advice and constant support. Most of all, however, we will miss a warm and loyal friend. We will not forget you. Rest in Peace.