Wigtownshire nurse follows in mum’s footsteps with honour from the Queen

A Wigtownshire woman has followed in the footsteps of her mother by being honoured by the Queen.

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 10:54 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 10:56 am
Caroline Alexander CBE, group chief nursing officer for Barts Health NHS Trust
Caroline Alexander CBE, group chief nursing officer for Barts Health NHS Trust

Caroline Alexander is the daughter of the late Jim and Anne Alexander of Clauchrie Farm near Wigtown.

Anne, who was matron of Newton Stewart Hospital, was awarded the MBE, and now Caroline, who is group chief nursing officer at Barts Health NHS Trust has received a CBE for services to nursing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

After attending Douglas Ewart High in Newton Stewart, Caroline graduated as a nurse from Edinburgh University in 1987 and specialised in the care of older people, including as a ward sister at Guy’s Hospital, before joining the Foundation of Nursing Studies.

In 1998 she returned to the NHS to lead older people’s services in Tower Hamlets, becoming director of nursing and therapies in 2005.

In 2011, she was appointed director of nursing and quality for NHS East London and the City, and then NHS North East London, following a merger a year later.

Caroline joined NHS England as regional chief nurse for London in 2013. She took up her current role of group chief nursing officer for Barts Health in March 2016.

She is also a trustee for the Foundation of Nursing Studies and has honorary doctorates from both City, University of London and Middlesex University.

Caroline said: “I’m so fortunate to have enjoyed a career in nursing and to be able to influence the profession I love.

“I was inspired to become a nurse by my mum and it means a great deal to follow in her footsteps. Her attitude was: if you are going to do something, put your heart and soul into it. I wish both she and my dad were here to share this moment with me.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in my career. I am unbelievably proud to receive this honour.”