Pathway to Excellence

In 2021 Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust took the decision to aim to achieve the Pathway to Excellence accreditation, a programme that recognises excellence in nursing and midwifery standards. The accreditation has been developed and delivered by the ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center) and we aim to have completed the required work to evidence our excellence against the six standards on Pathway before Summer 2022.

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Pathway to Excellence is an internationally recognised accreditation recognising a health care organisation’s commitment to creating a positive practice environment that empowers and engages staff. It focuses on six key areas of work within nursing and midwifery, with a focus on showcasing the quality that exists in each of these areas and identifying any gaps and areas for improvement.

We are collaborating with colleagues at King’s Mill Hospital, Mansfield Community Hospital and Newark Hospital as we work towards Pathway to Excellence, ensuring that we engage and involve staff on all levels.

There are a number of reasons we are aiming for the Pathway to Excellence accreditation. Firstly, the programme enables us to identify areas of excellence and quality in our nursing, midwifery and AHP (Allied Health Professions) teams, sharing best practice and ensuring that we provide the best care and service to all of our patients and community.

Achieving this accreditation will showcase that the Trust has the very best standards in nursing and midwifery, allowing us to recruit the very best staff to join us. It also enables us to retain staff and further develop our training and development for all nurses, together with offering clear career progression pathways.

To achieve the accreditation, we have to showcase to the assessing body that we meet their requirements under six key standards – these are:

  • Shared decision making
  • Leadership
  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Wellbeing
  • Professional development

We have appointed leaders within our nursing and midwifery team for each standard, who have responsibility for recognising the work that our colleagues are doing in these areas. There is so much brilliant nursing work taking place across the full range of these standards every single day – what staff may just see as their day-to-day actions is actually very impressive and contributes massively to these standards and the success of our Trust.

One of the most important elements of the accreditation is a questionnaire which we need all nursing, midwifery and AHP colleagues to complete. This will be issued to staff after we have submitted our evidence, and we will make it easy for everyone to have the time and capacity to complete this. Your opinions and honest answers will help us to recognise the impressive quality we provide for our patients and how we work to support our colleagues across the Trust.

Nursing and midwifery colleagues will be involved all the way through the process – their voice matters, as this is about how the Trust performs to high standards for the benefit of all patients, colleagues and our community. We want to empower all of our nursing community to share their examples of best practice, to provide accountability and suggest improvements. We will engage with staff all the way through our journey, communicating what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and the progress being made towards accreditation.

Our Pathway to Excellence project team will be visible – we have a schedule of ward and department visits planned so that we can meet lots of colleagues and understand and share their experiences.

Ultimately, the Pathway journey is about empowering our nursing staff, providing accountability, giving development opportunities and engaging with our team.

Whilst Pathway to Excellence is an accreditation focussed on nursing quality and standards, we want all of our colleagues at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust to understand what we’re doing and why.

It is important to us that we continually look to improve the quality of our services for our community, and this is further evidence of that. We hope all colleagues across the Trust will support us on this journey.

Video - Introduction to Pathway to Excellence


Shared decision making    Wellbeing
Quality   Leadership
Professional Development   Safety

If you wish to find out more or contact our team, please email us at