Staff Celebrate 6,730 Years of Helping Patients

More than 250 staff with a total of 6730 years of service between them have received Long Service Awards from NHS Forth Valley. They include NHS Forth Valley pharmacy technician Helen McCabe, who notched up an incredible half a century of NHS service.

Two special award ceremonies were held at Forth Valley Royal Hospital to present staff with a specially designed pin badge and award certificate. The event was hosted by NHS Forth Valley’s Chief Executive Cathie Cowan and Chair Janie McCusker.

Helen McCabe’s 50 years of service saw many major changes, from filling pharmacy boxes and pre-packing tablets and liquids to the creation of a new acute hospital, a new pharmacy department, electronic prescribing and robotic dispensing.

Helen joined the Pharmacy Department at the former Stirling Royal Infirmary in 1972 and gained a number of qualifications and promotions during her long service. She said: “It means a lot to me personally to get to 50 years’ service as the NHS means so much to me. When I began working with the health service it was a vocation.

“I have always loved and enjoyed my job and working with colleagues over the years I have made many solid friendships which are still ongoing.”

Among those celebrating 40 years’ service was Jessie Anne Malcolm, NHS Forth Valley’s Public Involvement Coordinator. She said: “I have most definitely had a very varied experience throughout my NHS career, starting as a clerical officer, moving on to several personal assistant and secretarial roles, car leasing manager and then in 2006 to my current role in public involvement.

“If I was ever going to write my memoirs in would be a best-seller! But I would add that my length of service indicates how much I have loved every minute!”

On receiving his 30 years’ service award, NHS Forth Valley, Consultant Radiologist, Dr Rajesh Burgol ,reflected that when he arrived in Forth Valley there was no PACS (picture archiving and communication system used to store and digitally transmit electronic images) and piles of film bags everywhere. He said: “We will soon be over 14 consultants strong with really busy dual CT and dual MRI scanners. Thankfully it still feels like a family and the addition of Edinburgh and Glasgow trainees has enhanced this. Radiology is and always will be a service under immense pressure, but the team has always made this bearable and enjoyable.”

NHS Forth Valley’s Chair, Janie McCusker, said: “It was a great pleasure to present these awards to local staff as it gave me the opportunity to say a personal thank you for their long and dedicated service to the NHS.

“The staff who attended the awards ceremony came from many different backgrounds and it was fascinating to listen to their personal stories and hear about some of the changes they witnessed during their careers as well as a host of memories.”

The NHS Forth Valley long service awards were last presented in January 2020 and were paused during the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that this year staff who had achieved 20, 30, 40 or 50 years’ service over the last three years were eligible to receive an award.

Of those receiving awards, 118 celebrated 20 years’ service, 104 had served 30 years, 30 had achieved 40 years’ service with the NHS and one member of staff received an award for 50 years service. The majority of recipients had a nursing or midwifery background however staff from all areas were recognised for their long service, including medical, administration, support services and allied health professionals.