Fife nurses receive prestigious award

Published: Friday 30 Nov 2018

Three Fife nurses areamong a group of 21 people to have been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse.


The three were selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).


Gerry Hastie is a Community Mental Health Nurse, Lyndsey Forsyth is an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Nurse Specialist and Pauline Buchanan is a Community Dermatology Nurse Practitioner working across Fife.


All three were nominated for providing high quality, compassionate care to people in their community.


After completing the programme successfully, they were awarded the historic Queen’s Nurse title along with 18 other community nurses at a ceremony in Edinburgh on Thursday (November 29).


It marks only the second time the honour has been made in Scotland in almost 50 years following the reintroduction of the historic title in 2017.


Gerry, Lyndsey and Pauline were selected for their passion and commitment in their respective roles.


Pauline said: “My driving force has always been what is best for the patients.


“I have a passion for improving the care for patients living with uncomfortable and often painful skin conditions. I aim to bring back quality to their lives by educating them to manage their own condition.”


Lyndsey said: “It is a real joy to see how well young people can do with the right support.


“A key part of my role is to help change people’s attitudes and perceptions of ADHD. A mum once said to me “when you find the thing they love, they will just fly”. I try to get the message across that children and young people will flourish with the right care and guidance.”

Gerry added: “Being a nurse in the community helps me understand how the lived experience of an individual impacts on their health and ability to adapt - be it relationships, poverty, isolation or accessibility of resources or a combination of these factors.

“Nursing sees beyond the ‘diagnosis’ and interfaces with the very present and real circumstances of a person’s life.”

Queen’s Nursing in Scotland dates back to the late 19th century, when nurses completed specific training which allowed them to work as district nurses. They provided healthcare and health promotion to people in their own homes and became well respected figures within their community.


Following the introduction of a national certificate for district nursing, QNIS ceased training, awarding the Queen’s Nurse title for the final time in 1969.


However, the decision was made to reintroduce Queen’s Nurses to Scotland in 2017, with 20 community nurses chosen to take part in a development programme which would see them become the first modern Queen’s Nurses.


The process involves employers nominating a community-based nurse who will go forward for interview following a successful written application.


This year, 21 community nurses were selected to complete the nine-month programme which consists of a week-long residential workshop followed by two further workshops and coaching sessions in between. 


The programme requires them to choose an issue for development which will have a significant impact on those they care for, so that the learning during the nine months is applied in practice.


Other community nurses in the group include an offshore medic, a Diana Children’s Nurse, and a multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease specialist.


Nurses providing care to people in the community who need support with a wide range of issues such as substance misuse, dementia care, and infant feeding also feature.


Those working in, district nursing, child health, school nursing, care home nursing and health visiting complete the group.


Helen Wright, NHS Fife’s Director of Nursing, said: “The title of Queen’s Nurse is a prestigious one and I am delighted that three of our own have been awarded this status.

“Queen’s Nurses set the bar for high quality, compassionate care and it is a source of great pride for everyone in Fife that Gerry, Lyndsey and Paulinen have been honoured.”

Clare Cable, QNIS Chief Executive and Nurse Director, said: “The development programme was designed to ensure that values of Queen’s Nurses of the past can be translated to meet the demands of leadership of nursing in the community in the future.


“The 2018 Queen’s Nurses really demonstrate the diversity of roles within community nursing in Scotland.


“They all uphold nursing excellence and bring a firm commitment to make a real difference to the lives of the people they work with. The Queen’s Nurse programme has resulted in a truly transformational journey for those involved and they should all be very proud to have been awarded the title.”


The group were presented with a certificate and badge by Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer Professor Fiona McQueen during the awards ceremony at The Principal Edinburgh on George Street hotel.


Prof McQueen said: “Scottish nurses support the people of Scotland across all walks of life.

“This year's Queen's Nurses exemplify all that is good about nursing and nurses; supporting people at their time of greatest need and reaching out to people who often struggle to access services.  

“Our Queen's Nurses ‎are ambassadors for nursing and truly inspirational.”


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