Amy Johnson – Ward Matron – Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

July 26, 2017

Dispelling the myth Northampton is ‘up North’

Amy Johnson has worked for 14 years as a registered nurse in Northamptonshire. She started at 18 and qualified at 21, and has been nursing ever since. She says she couldn’t imagine living or working anywhere else.

She has lived in Northamptonshire all her life but has moved around the county to do training as required. Amy now works with people suffering from dementia and her dream was to manage a dementia ward, which she now does at St Mary’s Hospital in Kettering.

She was first attracted to nursing because of the many hospitals and career opportunities in Northamptonshire. She believes there are lots of reasons for doctors and nurses to relocate here.

Amy comments, “Northamptonshire is a great county to work in and there are huge opportunities for nurses here. There are large hospitals, private and NHS, and large community services that cover everything and great opportunities for training and development and to move around the Trust in Northampton. I work with the Royal College of Nursing and see nurses from across the county – not all Trusts are like Northamptonshire and don’t invest as much in training.”

“There are a couple of myths about Northamptonshire. People assume it is up North, until you say it’s only an hour from London, and then they are amazed. It is central and quite close to Birmingham and London. People also assume it is all rolling hills BUT it also has thriving and busy towns. It has

the best of both worlds as there is amazing countryside – but it’s close to motorways, airports and train services linking it to the rest of the UK.”

After her training, Amy qualified and became a charge nurse at Berrywood Hospital in Northampton. She has since been promoted to Ward Matron at St Mary’s in Kettering.

During her time as a charge nurse the Trust gave her time off to be trained by the Royal College of Nursing to be a Steward, for two days a week. As a Steward, Amy is a union representative who helps employees and the Trust on policies. She says the Trust is really supportive of this and gave her time to do joint roles.

However, this wasn’t the case for a lot of her colleagues at the Royal College of Nursing, when Amy was doing the course with them, many of the other nurses had real issues getting the time off from their hospital Trust, where NHFT fully supported Amy.

Amy is totally committed to the Trust and would not want to leave. She is very proud of where she works and the time NHFT invest in staff. Other nurses in other areas get their training cancelled and do not always have the level of investment that NHFT has invested.

Amy says the key benefits of working at NHFT are the opportunities for growth and development, which she has seen in her career progression from trainee to Ward Matron.

Amy says, “My role is hugely rewarding and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. During my time working for the Trust I have never been refused time off for training and never had a course turned

down that I have applied for. The Trust invests in developing staff and has a reputation and culture for staff development.”

Amy loves living in this area with her son, and having her family nearby. She says, “I live in a small village and absolutely love village life. My commute is around 45 minutes and there is very little traffic which is ideal.”

She says the Trust is really supportive of staff wellbeing and when she had her son she was able to have a flexi-working contract when he was very young.

She concludes, “The Trust are doing a great job promoting wellbeing and there are many initiatives, including Pilates and yoga classes, which are really popular.”