Winning Streak For NHS Forth Valley Staff

Top national awards for pioneering work in dermatology and cancer care have been collected by NHS Forth Valley staff.

NHS Forth Valley, Lead Consultant in Dermatology, Dr Colin Morton, was part of a team* who won the Health Service Journal Digitising Patient Services Initiative Award for a digital dermatology breakthrough. They developed a new app which allows patients to send images of moles and other skin concerns which are then reviewed by a clinician who can arrange for further tests or treatment, if required, and arrange a follow up virtual appointment. This is often more convenient for patients, removing the need to travel and take time off work to attend outpatient appointments.

Dr Morton explained that the initial assessment to test the viability of the digital dermatology assessment app involved more than 50 patients in a three-month period however at the beginning of the pandemic this had increased tenfold. They are now seeking to deliver up to 30% of dermatology consultations either via phone or digitally, including via the new app which has provided popular with patients.

The award came as a complete surprise to Dr Morton and his colleagues as, because they had been given a table at the back of the hall where the awards ceremony took place, they thought their chances of success were slim.

He said: “This award should be widely shared given the many individuals who have contributed to the development of the app. It is evidence of what can be achieved working together, with strong management support, to deliver innovative practice for our patients.”

Sandra Campbell, NHS Forth Valley Macmillan Nurse Consultant

The other national award winner is Sandra Campbell, NHS Forth Valley Macmillan Nurse Consultant, who was intrigued after she received a mysterious email asking if she could be free for half an hour on a Saturday afternoon for a quick zoom meeting and was told to expect the delivery of a parcel.

All was revealed when Sandra was awarded the President of the UK Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS) Lifetime Achievement Award for dedication to cancer and palliative care nursing which was presented at a virtual conference.

Sandra explained: “I was on the UKONS Board for six years from 2014 and stepped down only last year so was very surprised by this award. I was honoured and very proud to be a Board member representing Scotland and also to receive the President’s award.

The winner of many awards over the years, Sandra added: “I have had a fantastic nursing career, mostly spent in NHS Forth Valley, and I have worked with so many amazing people but this last year has been the saddest for me with the impact of Covid-19. I am in awe of the human spirit but this pandemic has been a tragedy for many beyond belief.”

Sandra, who retires from her post at the end of November 2021, will continue to support bereavement work in NHS Forth Valley.

Craig Bell, Community Learning Disability Charge Nurse

In addition to the two national awards, Craig Bell, a Community Learning Disability Charge Nurse in NHS Forth Valley, recently celebrated becoming a Queen’s Nurse after completing a nine-month development programme. Craig was one of 29 community nurses from across Scotland, who were nominated for the programme by their employers for demonstrating high quality, compassionate care.

The programme, now in its fifth year, consists of workshops, masterclasses, action learning and conversations with inspirational leaders as well as individual coaching sessions. Throughout the programme, there is an emphasis on self-care, deep reflection and connecting participants with their creativity.

Each nurse commits to developing an issue which will have an impact on their practice and benefit their community, which they work on over the programme and beyond. The learning disability cohort are working together on a joint issue for development to support those with a learning disability who find themselves involved with the criminal justice system.

*NHS Forth Valley, along with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Grampian, Storm ID, Modernising Patient Pathways Programme, NHS National Services Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland, won the Digitising Patient Services Initiative Award in the 2021 Heath Service Journal Awards for the roll out of Digital Dermatology Assessments (DDA) during the Covid-19 pandemic.