NHS Forth Valley Wins National Nursing Awards

NHS Forth Valley has scooped two major awards at this year’s RCN Congress which took place in Glasgow.

Professor Angela Wallace, NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Nursing, receiving a RCN Fellowship Award. These prestigious awards are given to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to nursing or health care and the RCN often calls on the expertise and experience of Fellows to help with projects.

Professor Angela Wallace said: “I was absolutely delighted and humbled to receive this award and I will continue to work with my nursing colleagues across Forth Valley to further improve the care and treatment we provide to local patients and their families.”

A photograph taken of a patient and nursing staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital won the People’s Choice Award in the RCN’s national Care on Camera competition.

The photo entitled ‘Musical Entertainment from a Hospital Bed’ features a patient playing the violin to entertain nursing staff on Ward B31. It won the People’s Choice Award after receiving the most public votes from a shortlist of 50 images. The shortlist was selected from more than 800 entries from across the UK to create a photographic record of nursing as part of the RCN’s centenary celebrations.

The photograph was submitted by NHS Forth Valley’s Communication’s Team which had been tipped off by nursing staff about their musically gifted patient Alan Cairney from Gartmore, near Stirling.

Alan, who is in his early nineties, is a classically trained musician, who took up his bow when he was just ten years old. A former refrigeration engineer, Alan continued to work as a gigging musician with a particular fondness for jazz.

He says he was prompted to bring his violin into hospital when he mentioned to someone that he could play. When asked whether he thought staff and patients enjoyed being serenaded he said:  “I think they ran away and got their ear plugs – no, I’m only joking. They all seem keen to hear me play; being a Glasgow boy I know I am good!”

NHS Forth Valley Nursing Auxiliary Allison Cowie agrees.  She said: “We encouraged Alan to play as we thought he was absolutely brilliant. It cheered us all up and I think he’s the first violinist we’ve ever had in here – it was great having our own personal musician in the ward.”

Kate Fawcett, NHS Forth Valley’s Communications Manager, said: “To win the People’s Choice Award is the icing on the cake. The Communication’s Team would like to thank everyone who voted for the picture and hope that they too found it uplifting, and were able to share in the joy which was generated by the music. It was a truly happy moment and we are delighted that it has been captured for posterity in the RCN national exhibition and archive.”

The national competition was open to both amateur and professional photographers and was run in association with the Royal Photographic Society.

The judging panel included RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Janet Davies, BBC journalist Huw Edwards, RPS Director-General Dr Michael Pritchard and NHS Employers’ Danny Mortimer along with RCN members Vianne Britten and Jess Moorhouse.

The competition shortlist, including the winning photographs, will now form a touring exhibition visiting schools, libraries, and various health settings around the UK as part of the RCN’s centenary celebrations.

People’s Choice Winner Caption

(L-R) NHS Forth Valley nursing auxiliaries Allison Cowie, Ellen Swan and Maureen Gibson with virtuoso violinist Alan Cairney


For further information contact NHS Forth Valley’s Communication Department on 01786 457264.