KGH treatment room named after much-loved nurse

A treatment room at KGH has been named in memory of a popular nurse who died in a tragic crash on the A43 in 2015.

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 9:22 am
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 4:09 pm
Friends and family of Caren at the official opening.
Friends and family of Caren at the official opening.

Caren Ashcroft, a nurse at the hospital for 30 years, worked in various areas across the trust and most recently in orthopaedics and surgery in Geddington Ward where she served from its opening in 2007 to 2015.

On Monday (November 4) the official opening of the Caren Ashcroft Treatment Room was held in the Geddington Ward in the presence of Caren’s daughter Georgie, Georgie's six-month-old son Harry Walpole, and Caren’s close KGH friends.

Georgie said: “I am really grateful to the team for doing this.

A plaque in Caren's memory.

"My mum loved working on the ward and having this room named after her, in a way, means that she is still here and her work has been remembered and celebrated.”

Her colleagues wanted to do something in her memory and decided on naming the ward’s treatment room – where patients have things like pre-operative assessment checks - in her memory.

Ward manager Anna Patrick said: “Caren’s friends and colleagues unofficially called the treatment room Caren’s room as a way of remembering her every day but we realised that we had never had an official opening.

“Reflecting on this – and thinking about the Trust’s CARE values of being Compassionate, Accountable, Respectful and Engaging - we thought that having an official opening would be a good reminder to us all of the importance of individual contribution’s like Caren’s.

Georgie and Harry cut the ribbon.

“We have been delighted in the way that the trust has embraced the idea and helped us to remember Caren in a fitting way.”

At the official opening some of Caren’s close friends paid tribute to her.

Healthcare assistants Coleen Tucker and Debbie Dioni both worked closely with Caren and were good friends of hers.

Coleen said: “Caren was a wonderful person outside and in and her death was a real tragedy.

“She was good friends with so many of us both at work and outside of work – and we used to go with her to watch her daughter Georgie, who is an operatic singer, at her many concerts.”

Debbie said: “If you add an N to care you have Caren – she was always so caring.

“She was like a sister to us all and was always there when you needed her.

“It was such a blow to us when she died and we wanted to do something to remember her. “

Lead nurse for practice development, Rie Sharpe, who was Caren’s matron at the time of her death, said: “We were all so devastated when she passed away. She really was a kind and lovely person who was friends with everyone.

“Having the room named after brings us all some comfort. Caren did use the room and delivered some of her care there.

“We have put up the plaque and named the room so that she will never be forgotten.”