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Northampton nurses celebrate being first UK hospital to be reaccredited with prestigious international nursing quality standard

Pathway Dame Ruth May visit

Dame Ruth May (centre front) with some of the NGH nurses involved in Pathway to Excellence reaccreditation.

Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, visited Northampton General Hospital today to congratulate its nursing teams on achieving a fantastic international quality standard.

The hospital has achieved the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence reaccreditation after becoming the first hospital in England to achieve the standard in 2018.

Dame Ruth May said: “I am delighted that Northampton General Hospital has achieved Pathway to Excellence® redesignation. It is an incredible achievement and a testament to the hard work and dedication of all nursing colleagues at the Trust.

“This recognition demonstrates a strong commitment to championing nursing excellence. Through this, we can empower nursing professionals and, most importantly, support them to deliver high quality patient care.”

NGH Chief Executive Heidi Smoult said: NGH Chief Executive Heidi Smoult said: “I am delighted that our nursing and nursing associate teams are the first in the UK to achieve Pathway to Excellence® redesignation, a huge achievement.

“It demonstrates our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional patient care, a positive work environment for nurses and nursing associates, and for delivering excellence in nursing practice.

“I am so proud of the teams, who have created a culture and environment across our hospital where our people are empowered to thrive and flourish.”

As part of the Pathway to Excellence® programme, over the last five years the nursing teams at the hospital have worked on implementing positive changes to patient care and the working environment, including:

  • Improving end-of-life care for patients and their families – This was a project led by the hospital’s Deputy Lead Nurse for Palliative Care, Kerry Messam, which involved looking at all aspects of end-of-life-care and making improvements including dedicated end-of-life Swan Rooms (this led to a Chief Nursing Officer Silver Award and to Kerry being invited to meet the Prime Minister at a Downing Street reception on NHS75 July 5.)
  • Pastoral support for overseas nurses joining NGH – In May the hospital achieved the NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award for International Nurses to recognise its commitment to providing exceptional support for staff moving to work in the UK from overseas including language support, cultural awareness training, and access to support networks and resources.
  • Established 40 Shared Decision-Making Councils across the organisation which enable front-line nurses to be involved in the making of decisions which affect patient care and their working lives.
  • Establishing a nurse-led violence and aggression reduction group – which works to offer support to all members of staff who experience upsetting incidents and helps develop ways to reduce the risks of violence and aggression
  • Fully supported the pioneering Professional Nurse Advocate role set up to support nurses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. NGH now has recruited 35 PNAs who listen, understand and support nurses in ways that improve their wellbeing, encourage nurses to stay in the NHS, and help them to improve patient care.

NGH’s Director of Nursing, Nerea Odongo, said: “Over the past five years our nursing teams have continued to go from strength-to-strength and our reaccreditation for Pathway to Excellence is evidence of this.

“This recognition highlights our commitment to providing exceptional care to our patients and creating a workplace that empowers our nursing professionals.

“We are incredibly proud of our nursing staff and their unwavering dedication to delivering outstanding healthcare services"

Pathway to Excellence® assesses healthcare organisations based on nursing practice standards, nurse satisfaction, patient outcomes, and the overall work environment for nurses.

As part of reaccreditation all of the hospital’s nurses and nursing associates were asked a series of questions. NGH passed the survey with flying colours achieving rates significantly higher than the set standards.

During Dame May’s visit the hospital was able to showcase some of its ongoing work in nursing leadership, safety, quality, shared decision-making, wellbeing, and professional development.

At the event she told staff: “I am in awe of the way you have all worked together to achieve redesignation. I plan to take some of the learning showcased here today to the national level."

Posted on Thursday 20th July 2023
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