Success at Nurse of the Year Awards

Nursing staff from across NHS Forth Valley have been recognised for their incredible care, leadership, support and innovation at the inaugural RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year Awards – scooping two overall winners and five runners up awards.

Laura McCann, NHS Forth Valley Community Learning Disability Nurse and Senior Charge Nurse, won the Learning Disability Nursing Award

NHS Forth Valley Community Learning Disability Nurse and Senior Charge Nurse, Laura McCann, who works with the Falkirk Learning Disability Team, won the Learning Disability Nursing Award at the event which took place at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Described by her team, in the nicest possible way, as infectious, Laura has helped drive forward work to support people with a learning disability to develop healthy relationships. This includes the development of an eight-week programme on cyber safety and work with a wide range of partners to improve support for individuals who have experienced gender-based violence and develop guidance for health and care professionals.

One of Laura’s key achievements is ensuring that the team can now provide a consistent and equitable service across the local area by sharing learning, upskilling colleagues and helping patients to access education.

Janet Wilson, NHS Forth Valley Nursing Assistant, won the Nursing Support Worker of the Year Award

Janet Wilson, NHS Forth Valley Nursing Assistant, who works at Lochview in Larbert, won the Nursing Support Worker of the Year Award and Alison O’Neill, a Support Worker and Nursing Assistant with the Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health (iCAMHS) team at Stirling Community Hospital received the runner up award in this category.

Colleagues describe Janet Wilson as a dedicated and professional nursing support worker who has worked in Learning Disability Services for more than 20 years, leading the way with care and compassion. Janet has always strived to ensure individuals with learning disabilities are recognised as people and not for their medical or physical conditions. She has played an important part in developing a bespoke approach to care for an individual with autism who finds it very challenging to engage with others. She is not only a supportive presence for local patients, but also for their families and her colleagues. As well as her support for direct patient care, Janet has played a key role in maintaining a safe environment for patients, visitors and colleagues by completing environmental audits, risk assessments and infection control audits.

Linda McAuslan, NHS Forth Valley Lead Nurse for Psychological Therapies and Manager of the Adult Psychological Therapies Service, was the runner up in the Clinical Leadership Award Category. Hazel Somerville and Jennie Young received the runner up award in the Inspiring Excellence – Nursing Innovation and Research Category for the development of a trauma informed cervical screening programme across NHS Forth Valley.

Unit 5 at Falkirk Community Hospital won runner up Nursing Team of the Year Award for their efforts to support and increase the range of activities available for patients with dementia and prolonged delirium.

Prof Frances Dodd, Executive Nurse Director for NHS Forth Valley, said: “These awards recognise the outstanding care, support and leadership shown by nursing staff across Forth Valley. I am so proud of all our local winners and feel very privileged to work with such a talented range of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.”

Cathie Cowan, Chief Executive of NHS Forth Valley, said: “I am delighted that so many local staff have been recognised by the RCN Scotland which is testimony to the exceptional care and leadership provided by nursing staff working across NHS Forth Valley.”

Praising Laura and Janet for their award wins, Colin Poolman, RCN Scotland Director said: “Learning disability nurses and nursing support workers are vital in ensuring people with learning disabilities maintain their health and wellbeing and are able to live their lives as fully and independently as possible. Both Laura and Janet have gone above and beyond to care for patients, their families and their colleagues and their success is very well deserved.”