RCN Nursing: Three Forth Valley nurses finalists in top UK awards

Three Forth Valley nurses have been shortlisted for prestigious awards.

The trio are all have been selected from hundreds of entries as finalists in this year’s RCN Nursing Awards for their work in helping colleagues and patients.

They will discover at a ceremony in London this October if they have won their category award.

Aimee Kidd and Linda Crothers, well-being leads for the behavioural psychotherapy team at NHS Forth Valley, decided to make the changes when they returned from Covid-19 pandemic redeployment and noticed colleagues’ well-being had suffered.

Linda Crothers and Aimee Kidd - NHS Forth Valley mental health nurses and finalists in RCN awards

The project included initiatives such as providing water for staff to help with hydration, leading to staff being more efficient and attentive in sessions. They also ensured team time and protected lunch breaks to prevent burnout.

The pair said: “Having staff who are happy, healthy and therefore more productive has a direct positive impact on patient care.

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“There were 112 working days lost to sick leave in 2020 in our department and this reduced significantly to 36 in 2021 after we had started to implement our project.

Norah Quinn who is a finalist in RCN awards

“This resulted in more patient appointments going ahead, fewer cancellations and more consistency in care and treatment.

“We are shocked but humbled to be finalists for the awards. Making it to the finals has highlighted the importance of staff well-being.

“At first we implemented a few activities for staff in our service directly after redeployment to show they mattered. However, it began to grow and we have been able to demonstrate the benefits of our project.”

Praising their efforts, Dr Jennifer Borthwick, director of psychology at NHS Forth Valley, said: “This has been a joint project between Aimee and her colleague Linda Crothers. Aimee is kind, caring and diligent in her work with

patients. She always wants the best outcome for people and works hard with them to achieve this.

“Linda is warm and compassionate in her approach to patients and works tirelessly with them to ensure that they get the best care. She has really enjoyed the staff wellbeing champion role and, along with Aimee, has put a huge amount of effort into ensuring that all the team participate in, and feel the benefit of, the team's wellbeing work. They represent the very best of nursing I am very proud of them both.”

A nurse who improved cared for patients is also a finalist in the Learning Disability Nursing category.

Interim lead nurse for learning disability services Norah Quinn enhanced access to annual health checks through primary care, developed a learning disabilities advanced nurse practitioner post, revolutionised data collection and improved training in trauma across health and social care partnerships.

Nora said: “People with learning disabilities have the potential to live a full healthy life with the same rights as other people. There is a need for specialist, skilled nursing support if we are to achieve this.

“The Forth Valley learning disability nursing has been either too embarrassed or has not actively sought to promote themselves or each other.

“I have worked hard to encourage this change as learning disability nurses are a highly skilled bunch and it’s time to show that. To be considered by the panel as a worthy finalist is down to the work this team has done.”

Anne Cook, service manager for specialist mental health and learning disabilities at NHS Forth Valley, said: “I am delighted to hear that Norah has been chosen as a finalist. She is extremely passionate about learning disability nursing and makes sure it is at the forefront of every discussion. Norah is also keen to consider any new developments to improve services and always encourages her staff to reach their full potential.

“She is a great asset to NHS Forth Valley, a true professional and very deserving of this achievement.”

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said: ‘This shortlist showcases the very best of nursing and highlights the work we do day in, day out to improve the health and well-being of our patients. I am so proud of all of these finalists.”