A NEW chief nurse has joined the team at Royal Bolton Hospital during one of the most challenging periods faced by the trust.

Karen Meadowcroft is bringing over 30 years’ of experience to the role and will ensure that patients at the hospital will have the best possible experience.

Previously she was director of nursing and healthcare professionals at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

She began the role at the start of January, just as England entered its third lockdown.

Now Karen will be responsible for providing providing leadership for the 3,500 nurses, midwives and allied health professionals working in hospital and community settings.

She will have responsibility for ensuring high quality and safe patient care is delivered, so that patients are looked after in the best possible way while under their care.

Karen is excited to take on the new role and hopes to help develop healthcare provision in Bolton.

She said: “I’m so pleased to be joining Bolton NHS Foundation Trust as Chief Nurse, and passionate about the role I can play in progressing healthcare to serve the people of Bolton and beyond.

“I am delighted to join the Trust and have been given a very warm welcome.

“This indeed a challenging time to join a new organisation, however I have nothing but respect for the staff who have been going above and beyond to offer care and compassion to our patients.

“I am so proud of what they have achieved and look forward to working with such a dedicated team in 2021.

“Compassionate leadership is very close to my heart and I hope to set the standard of how we continue to provide high quality care across the organisation.”

Karen comes to the role with over 36 years’ experience of working in the NHS.

She is a registered nurse and midwife and has held a number of senior nursing, midwifery and managerial roles across Greater Manchester and the North Midlands.

As well as her nursing posts, she has experience as clinical lead of a wide range of specialities, like maternity, gynaecology, paediatrics, critical care and diagnostics.

She also has experience as a corporate director of nursing responsible for workforce, professional education, patient experience and research.

For the past year Marie Forshaw occupied the role after taking over from Trish Armstrong-Child, who held the post for six years before becoming chief executive at Southport Hospital.