Matrons are set to make a return to the wards of Wrexham Maelor Hospital around 40 years after they were phased out of the NHS.
Gone are the starched, white-cuffed dark blue uniform and cape and in are a more modern navy uniform with red piping.
The disappearance of matrons back in the late 1960s was criticised by many who linked their removal with a perceived drop in healthcare standards.
However, now chiefs at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board have announced their reintroduction to all hospital wards and district and community nursing in North Wales.
A number of matrons have already been appointed within Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Wrexham Maelor, Ysbyty Gwynedd and the community hospitals, with more due to start in the next few months. In all, there will be more than 35 matrons working across North Wales.
The health board said that the role of the matron will be to provide a visible, accessible and authoritative presence in wards areas, someone to whom ward sisters and their teams, patients and their families can turn to for help, advice and support.
The matron will be responsible for ensuring that the hospital environment is clean and safe, that the privacy, dignity and human rights of patients are protected and that the health board provides the highest possible standards of care.
Wendy Williams, newly appointed matron within the locality of Holywell and Flint said “I envisage the matron figure to be a strong clinical leader with clear authority at ward level, promoting high standards of clinical care and leadership, enabling us to improve the patient experience. I feel we are very privileged to be in this role.”
Jill Galvani Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Patient services states “We have listened to patients and the public who have asked for the return of the matrons.
“We are therefore delighted to announce the return of the matrons who will support ward sisters and their teams in delivering and ensuring that patients and families experience healthcare of a consistently high standard.
“Their role is clearly defined and they will be free to act and lead the clinical teams at ward and department level and throughout the community to drive up standards of care.”
Key tasks which will be carried out by matrons are:
* Lead by example, setting the highest standards for nursing care
* Ensure patients receive quality care
* Ensure the ward environment is clean
* Ensure that nutritional and hydration needs are met
* Make sure that all patients are treated with dignity and respect
* Continue to improve ward environment for patients & their families
* Talk to and liaise with patients and relatives
* Help prevent hospital acquired infections and pressure ulcers