The Gibraltar Health Authority will advertise the new position of matron at St Bernard’s Hospital. The new role will be tasked with the maintenance of adequate hygiene and cleanliness in the wards, together with high standards of care and good practice. Other core functions will be to ensure that individual patients are nursed back to health in a comfortable environment and with the right plan of clinical care for their needs.
Historically, matrons have played an important role in the Gibraltar Health Authority, although the position was discontinued in modern times and its functions absorbed by the Nurse Management Team. It has now been deemed appropriate to reintroduce the role of the matron, as patients and relatives needed someone they could relate to with a strong, approachable presence in the wards to supervise their nursing and medical convalescence needs.
Director of Nursing Services Sandie Gracia said the position of matron had been brought back in Gibraltar to further improve the patient experience and coordinate the changes in systems for enhanced and safe high-quality health care, in conjunction with the Nurse Management Team. She said: “This has been a positive move, as the patients and their relatives will have an authoritative and empathic figure they can identify with. Our health professionals will also benefit, as matrons will provide encouragement and motivation to members of the nursing team and support staff."
Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Neil F. Costa MP said that he was delighted at the initiative to bring back the traditional figure of the matron to a hospital environment. Mr Costa said: “With the introduction of the matron, we provide a visible and accessible presence in wards to support our clinical environment that is patient and public focussed. Not only will the matron be an asset across a whole range of multidisciplinary clinical areas, but will also provide a source of information and choice for patients, together with a reassuring physical presence that can make such a positive difference when a person is recovering from illness. Matrons will also contribute to patient management, ensuring measures to reduce length of stay and facilitate early discharge.”