Bumper Finalists in RCN Scotland Nursing Awards

In the first ever RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year Awards, NHS Forth Valley is top of the leader board for the highest number of finalists.

Eight local staff, students and teams have been selected as finalists in 6 of the 12 award categories which recognise the work of local nursing teams, leaders, support workers, learning disability nurses, students and nursing innovation and research across Forth Valley.

The finalists are:

  • Inspiring Excellence: Nursing Innovation and Research – Hazel Somerville, Gender Based Violence and Sexual Assault Service Lead, NHS Forth Valley and Jennie Young, Team Lead for Adult Psychological Therapy Services, NHS Forth Valley who developed a cervical screening service for women who have experienced sexual trauma, providing reassurance and support through links with smear takers and specially trained trauma therapists.
  • Leadership Award – Linda McAuslan, Lead Nurse for Psychological Therapies / Manager for Adult Psychological Therapies Service, NHS Forth Valley. Described by colleagues as an exemplary lead, her team commended her on her commitment to staff wellbeing especially through the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Learning Disability Nursing Award – Laura MCann, Community Learning Disability Senior Charge Nurse, Falkirk Learning Disability Team. Laura leads a programme to support people with a learning disability to develop healthy relationships and is currently working to help those who have been exposed to gender-based violence.
  • Nursing Student of the Year – Georgie McLachlan, former University of Stirling nursing student now working as a Community Psychiatric Nurse. Described by her practice learning supervisor as a dedicated student, while on placement at Livilands Resource Centre at Stirling Health and Care Village, Georgie was praised for using her initiative to enhance patient care and was involved in a pilot project to help identify people at risk of psychosis.
  • Nursing Support Worker of the Year – Alison O’Neill, CAMHS Healthcare Support Worker / Nursing Assistant, Stirling Community Hospital, Stirling Health and Care Village. Described by colleagues as a bright spark, full of passion, patience and knowledge, Working with colleagues, Alison has overhauled treatment areas to make them better for patients and to enhance and improve the interface between her team and paediatric and mental health staff.
  • Nursing Support Worker of the Year – Janet Wilson Nursing Assistant, Lochview, NHS Forth Valley – Described by colleagues as a dedicated and professional nursing support worker, for 20 years Janet has worked in the learning disability service at Loch View, and her senior charge nurse says she is an integral part of the service – leading the way with care and compassion. Always advocating for those under her care, Janet strives to ensure they are recognised as people and not medical or physical conditions.
  • Nursing Team of the Year Award – Unit 5 Falkirk Community Hospital – Unit 5 was a 16-bedded ward for patients with dementia awaiting transfer to a nursing home. During the Covid-19 pandemic it changed to a 21-bedded unit for patients with dementia and prolonged delirium. Staff noticed some patients were becoming withdrawn so secured funding for an activity co-ordinator. This enabled more time to be spent with patients on a one-to-one basis helping discover likes and dislikes which could be incorporated into a care plan.

Commenting on the Health Board’s success, NHS Forth Valley’s Executive Nurse Director, Professor Frances Dodd, said: “I am delighted so many of our local nursing staff have been selected as finalists in these prestigious awards as it’s a fantastic achievement. All the finalists demonstrate how nursing staff go the extra mile on a daily basis to provide high quality care and services.

Colin Poolman, RCN Scotland Director, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for some well-deserved and long overdue recognition of the excellence of nursing staff in Scotland. The standard of entries was exceptional and we are confident that our Nurse of the Year Awards will become an annual celebration.”

The winners of each award will be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 21st June 2023 at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.