Forth Valley Mental Health Nurses Up For Top Award

Two mental health nurses who implemented an initiative to support staff have been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Aimee Kidd and Linda Crothers

Aimee Kidd and Linda Crothers, well-being leads for the behavioural psychotherapy team at NHS Forth Valley, decided to make the changes when they returned from COVID-19 pandemic redeployment and noticed colleagues’ well-being had suffered.

They have been selected from hundreds of entries as finalists in the Mental Health Nursing category of the RCN Nursing Awards 2022.

They will find out if they have won at a ceremony on Thursday 6 October at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London.

The RCN Nurse of the Year 2022 will be selected from all the category winners and will also be announced at the event.

The project included initiatives such as providing water for staff to help with hydration, leading to staff being more efficient and attentive in sessions. They also ensured team time and protected lunch breaks to prevent burnout.

Ms Kidd and Ms Crothers said: ‘Having staff who are happy, healthy and therefore more productive has a direct positive impact on patient care.

‘There were 112 working days lost to sick leave in 2020 in our department and this reduced significantly to 36 in 2021 after we had started to implement our project.

‘This resulted in more patient appointments going ahead, fewer cancellations and more consistency in care and treatment.

‘We are shocked but humbled to be finalists for the awards. Making it to the finals has highlighted the importance of staff well-being.

‘At first we implemented a few activities for staff in our service directly after redeployment to show they mattered. However, it began to grow and we have been able to demonstrate the benefits of our project’

Dr Jennifer Borthwick, Director of Psychology, NHS Forth Valley said: “This has been a joint project between Aimee and her colleague Linda Crothers. Aimee is kind, caring and diligent in her work with patients. She always wants the best outcome for people and works hard with them to achieve this.

‘Linda is warm and compassionate in her approach to patients and works tirelessly with them to ensure that they get the best care. She has really enjoyed the staff wellbeing champion role and, along with Aimee, has put a huge amount of effort into ensuring that all the team participate in, and feel the benefit of, the team’s wellbeing work. They represent the very best of nursing I am very proud of them both.’

NHS Professionals chief nurse and director of clinical governance Juliette Cosgrove said: ‘I am delighted that we are sponsoring the Mental Health Nursing category at this year’s RCN Awards.

‘The therapeutic relationship built up by mental health nurses with their patients is crucial to good outcomes. As we see demand for mental health nurses increasing, this award celebrates the inspirational work of so many of them in the specialism.’

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said: ‘This shortlist showcases the very best of nursing and highlights the work we do day in, day out to improve the health and well-being of our patients.

‘I am so proud of all the finalists.’

The Foundation of Nursing Studies is the event’s charity partner. Its chief executive and chair of the awards judging panel Joanne Bosanquet said: ‘The quality of entries again this year was so high and it was near impossible to choose our finalists from the creative and innovative work submitted.

‘The shortlist showcases excellence and recognises the enormous difference that nurses make to people’s lives throughout the UK.’