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Matrons back in charge of wards at Eastbourne and St Leonards hospitals
Old-fashioned matrons are making a return to hospital wards.
Bosses at Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards hope stepping back into the past will make it easier for patients to know who is in charge.
Most people associate the role with the Carry On films but the matrons who will be running today’s wards will have a much more serious role.
They will be responsible for making sure the wards are running smoothly and high standards of hygiene are kept.
Managers say many patients understand and recognise the title and what it means.
Members of staff who previously held the roles of ward sisters, ward managers and charge nurses will now be known as ward matrons instead.
Matrons used to be widely used in the health service until they were abolished in the late 1960s.
The role used to be held by the most senior nurse in the hospital who would oversee all the nurses and domestic staff.
The term matron was re-introduced at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust in recent years as “clinical matrons,” who were senior nurses overseeing a number of wards within the hospital.
Restructure This role was dropped by the trust last year as part of a restructure of the organisation.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust both continue to have these types of matrons in place while sisters run the wards.
East Sussex director of nursing Jane Hentley, said: “We are delighted that this new title will reflect the autonomy and clinical focus that this post deserves.
“The individuals we have in these roles have a very important part to play in the delivery of care, they are critical to our success.”
Trust chief executive Darren Grayson said: “Our new ward matrons have a pivotal role to play to ensure that we provide all our patients with the highest standards of care, privacy, dignity and respect in all our wards and departments all of the time.
“They are accountable for the care delivered on their wards and it is through their strong leadership that we will ensure standards are consistently met and maintained. It’s what all our patients deserve and have a right to expect.”
A spokesman for the Patient Action Group said: “It is a good idea. People always associate matrons with high standards of the past and having them around and about on the wards again will create a good impression.