Carolyn Fox, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and patient services and a Board Director Northampton General Hospital. 

July 13, 2017

Trailblazing a Pathway to Excellence at Northampton General Hospital

Carolyn Fox has been a Director of Nursing, Midwifery and patient services and a Board Director at Northampton General Hospital for two years. Previously she was Deputy Director of Nursing at Aintree Hospital and before that, Assistant Director of Nursing for Salford Hospital in Manchester.

Carolyn was attracted to the role at Northampton because it offered a new challenge. There had been six different directors of nursing in the past six years and a constantly changing vision and strategy.  However, it was the engaging and positive attitude of the staff, including Chief Executive, Dr Sonia Swart, and the fact the hospital is so focused on training and development that ultimately won her over.

The team’s motto is safety above all else and all the staff is 100% supportive of Sonia Swart, who has the best interest of the hospital in everything she does. This approach really resonated with Carolyn and she felt she could “do business with them.”

Northampton General Hospital is also leading the way in excellence and training, and there are huge opportunities for doctors, nurses and midwives. The recruitment strapline at the hospital is Love Nursing / Love Northampton.

It is the first hospital in the UK to affiliate with the American Nurses Association scheme, called Pathway to Excellence, an internationally recognised programme for nursing and midwifery standards.

Carolyn says, “We’ve chosen to adopt this programme because it mirrors exactly what we’re working to achieve here in Northampton, a culture where our nurses and midwives feel inspired and valued and where we aim to deliver the best possible care for our patients. It opens up exciting new opportunities to learn from a global community of healthcare settings, all sharing a common aim of achieving excellent standards of care.”

The hospital is one of the first in the UK to introduce the DAISY award, which honours and celebrates the skillful compassionate care that nurses and midwives provide in UK. The DAISY award is in memory of Patrick Barnes whose family were overwhelmed by the care and compassion Patrick received by nurses when ill.

The hospital has a very active professional development team who are responsible for the education of the nurses and midwives, as well as a scheme called PLAN, run in partnership with the University of Northampton. It also supports clinical academic careers and are part of an innovative nursing and midwifery faculty at Nottingham University teaching hospital.

Discussing the development opportunities Carolyn said, “Northampton General Hospital offers an environment where doctors, nurses and midwives can flourish, grow and develop. They are fully supported and we believe that if you look after your staff that they will reward you. All our staff have a positive attitude, and they really believe they can change the world.”

Carolyn loves living in Northamptonshire. She says it is a great location in the middle of the country, with good transport links, including airports and motorways, which make life easier. She lives in the beautiful English countryside in a village with lots of lovely pubs, and her home is only a 20-minute drive to work.

She adds, “When I relocated from ‘up North’ I thought the people in the North had the monopoly on being friendly until I came to Northampton – they are the friendliest people I’ve ever met!”