Directness with empathy: tributes paid to champion of Northampton General Hospital patients

Moya McVicar, during her time with LINk
Moya McVicar, during her time with LINk

Tributes have been paid to a passionate health watchdog volunteer who stood up for Northampton patients for decades.

Moya McVicar, of North Western Avenue, Kingsthorpe was a volunteer for Healthwatch Northamptonshire, carrying out duties such as hospital inspections, until her death at NGH, following a fall at home, last month.

I very much appreciated her combination of realism and empathy

Dr Sonia Swart, chief executive of NGH

She was a strong advocate of good hospital and mental health care and sat on the board of NGH.

Previous to Healthwatch, she was also the chair of its previous incarnation, LINk (local involvement network), and, before that, the Community Health Council.

Other organisations she was involved in included the local branch of the Parkinson’s Society, of which she was sometime treasurer.

Sheila White, a fellow volunteer at Healthwatch and colleague for 10 years, said Moya was knowledgeable but refreshingly straightforward.

She said: “She worked extremely hard for the people of Northamptonshire.

“She was passionate and she was forthright, but she could be because she knew her facts.”

Rosie Newbigging, chief executive of Healthwatch Northamptonshire, said: “Moya was a very committed and active volunteer for us and was passionate about the NHS and social care.

“Her death has come as a shock to everyone at Healthwatch. Moya was a spirited and tireless campaigner and she will be greatly missed by us all.”

Moya took a particular interest in the needs of people with learning disabilities.

And Mrs Newbigging said Moya had led the work on Northampton General for some time and had very recently been involved talking to patients in local GP surgeries and parents about health visiting.

Dr Sonia Swart, the chief executive of NGH, described her as “a very active governor of the hospital” who even volunteered for other tasks such as tending one of the hospital gardens.

Dr Swart said: “We were very sad to hear the news about Moya, who was a longstanding supporter of NGH.

“Moya was very hard working, always had a kind word for us but was never afraid to be direct.

“From a personal point of view I was always pleased to see her, and very much appreciated her combination of realism and empathy.

“We will certainly miss the valuable contribution she made to hospital life.”