Celebrating Star Staff & Volunteers

It’s been a bumper year for nominations in the 2018 NHS Forth Valley Staff Awards. A grand total of 560 were received, the highest number to-date and up by more than 20% on last year.

This year there was also a special Chairman’s Platinum Award to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS. This was presented to Kathy O’Neill, NHS Forth Valley’s General Manager for the Community Services Directorate, who was described as an incredibly supportive manager who has been part of many redesign projects, most recently the integration of local health and social care services. On a personal level she was applauded for wide range of qualities including her ability to remain calm, positive and professional, with the wisdom and courage to do things differently and encourage her staff to be curious and test out new ideas.

Nominees wrote that Kathy is a health hero worthy of being acknowledged and believe the Chairman’s Platinum Award is a fitting accolade to someone who has dedicated her career to NHS Forth Valley.

Caroline Harrower, a volunteer with the Polmont Breastfeeding Group who received more than 50 individual nominations, won the Volunteer Award and was described as a ‘powerhouse’ for the incredible work she does in her own time to support women to breastfeed. One Mum said “Caroline helped me during my breastfeeding journey and I wouldn’t have carried on without her help, advice and guidance.”

Other awards included the Top Team Award, which was presented to Ward A11, an Older People’s Ward at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Patients said they had “received the most amazing care from all staff in the ward and that nothing was too much trouble. Others described the team as gems and said each member of staff was nicer than the next.

Dougie Smith a Nursing Assistant at Hope House on the Bellsdyke Hospital site won the Unsung Hero Award and was praised for his caring attitude towards patients and the support he provides to colleagues and new members of staff. One patient said: ‘I have been in hospital for l7 years and Dougie Smith is the most caring, approachable, friendly and genuinely nice staff member that has ever nursed me.” A colleague also praised Dougie for always remaining calm and collected, even during periods of intense emotion.

Linda Boyle, a Community Staff Nurse at Bonnybridge Health Centre won the Outstanding Care Award. One family member said: “This lady is a credit to the name nurse. Her care of my wife when diagnosed with cancer was second to none. She went above and beyond and would often be here after her shift finished.” Another family member said Linda “always had an ear to listen and a compassionate, friendly demeanour which shows that she loves her job.”

The Inspiration Award was presented to Dr Anna Barton, Doctor in Training who recently completed a placement in the Cardiology Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Dr Barton received nominations from staff and patients and one former colleague described her as “One of the best doctors in training I have worked with in my l5 years in nursing. She is a great role model, approachable and outstanding with patients and colleagues.”

Julie Macdonald, a Senior Clinical Nurse in the Cardiology Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital won the Innovation Award for her work to develop a nurse-led service which has improved patient access and experience, freed up valuable theatre time and proved to be safe, efficient and effective.

Presenting the awards Chairman Alex Linkston said: “The response to this year’s awards has been fantastic and I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to put forward nominations.

“These local awards are really important as they help demonstrate how much the efforts of our staff are really appreciated by colleagues and patients alike.”