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Northants hospital gains international stamp of excellence for nurse working conditions

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Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust has been named one of the best places in the world for nurses and midwives to work.

The trust, which runs a single hospital in Northamptonshire, is the first in the UK to achieve Pathway to Excellence accreditation from the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC).

“This recognition could not have been achieved without the commitment of our nursing and midwifery team”

Sonia Swart

The international stamp of approval is given to hospitals that create a positive work environment for nurses and midwives to enable them to deliver outstanding patient care.

Northampton General Hospital chief executive, Sonia Swart, said the award was a “testament to the dedication, professionalism and ambition” of all the staff at the hospital.

Leaders at Northampton have expressed their pride over securing the accolade. As reported by Nursing Times, the trust began the process of seeking Pathway to Excellence Accreditation in 2016.

Sheran Oke, director of nursing, midwifery and patient services at Northampton General Hospital, said: “I am delighted that NGH has achieved this prestigious recognition, which is awarded to organisations that provide a positive practice environment for their nurses and midwives.

“I am extremely proud of the team at NGH and all the great things they have achieved, and continue to achieve, every day,”  she said.

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Sheran Oke

Ms Oke said gaining the Pathway to Excellence Accreditation involved the contribution of everyone at the hospital “from ward to board”.

However, Ms she said the hard work was not over because hospitals on the scheme needed to maintain their status through regular re-application.

Dr Swart added: “This recognition could not have been achieved without the commitment of our nursing and midwifery team, supported by everyone else here at team NGH.

“To be the first hospital in the UK to achieve Pathway to Excellence accreditation is testament to the dedication, professionalism and ambition of all of team NGH,” she said.

”By achieving Pathway to Excellence accreditation we are building on the foundations we have already put in place to enable our staff to provide the best possible care,” said Dr Swart.

Organisations that receive the badge of honour are deemed to be among the best places for nurses and midwives to work, with high job satisfaction and retention.

To achieve the hallmark, hospitals must show excellence in six standards considered essential to an ideal nursing practice environment. They are:

  • Shared decision making
  • Leadership
  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Wellbeing
  • Professional development

ANCC also runs the well-known Magnet hospital accreditation scheme for high quality nursing, which has previously been gained by only one NHS trust – now lapsed – though others are currently working towards achieving it.

These include South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the private Holly Private Hospital in Essex.

In other countries, the Magnet scheme has helped improved nurse recruitment and retention with a recent study also suggesting its hospitals were associated with lower mortality rates after surgery.

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