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Queen’s nurses return to Scotland for first time in 50 years

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A group of 20 community nurses in Scotland have been awarded the title of Queen’s nurse, marking the first time the honour has been made in the country for almost 50 years.

They were selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) for their high quality, compassionate nursing care.

“They all demonstrate nursing excellence which makes a real difference to the lives of the people they work with”

Clare Cable

The recipients include a midwife working with asylum seeking mothers in Glasgow, a nurse in charge of caring for people who find themselves in police custody in Edinburgh and an advanced nurse practitioner who is the only healthcare professional on a small and remote Orkney island.

Also among the group are practice and district nurses, school nurses, a mental health nurse, health visitors, a care home nurse and a Parish nurse.

Queen’s Nursing in Scotland dates back to the late 19th century, when nurses trained at institute sites across the country, including Edinburgh’s Castle Terrace until 1969.

The decision was made to reintroduce the title to Scotland in 2017, following the precedent set by sister organisation the Queen’s Nursing Institute that represents the rest of the UK. It reintroduced the title in England, Wales and Northern Ireland a decade ago back in 2007.

A Scottish programme was then developed after extensive consultation with health and social care leaders. The new Scottish Queen’s nurses were presented with a certificate and badge during an awards ceremony in Edinburgh on 1 December.

Clare Cable, chief executive and nurse director of the QNIS, said: “These 20 exceptional individuals can be deservedly proud of being awarded this prestigious title.

“From the late 1880s, Queen’s nurses were social reformers who were taking public health into people’s homes to help families take better care of themselves,” she said.

Queen's Nursing Institute Scotland/QNIS

Queen’s nurses to return to Scotland after almost 50 years

Clare Cable

“The modern Queen’s nurses are building on this proud heritage – sharing this pioneering spirit to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities of Scotland,” she noted.

“Their roles vary, from bringing care to some of society’s most vulnerable and marginalised groups to supporting people in mental distress or end of life care,” said Ms Cable.

She added: “They represent the geography of Scotland, from rural communities and small islands to concentrated areas within the big cities, but they all demonstrate nursing excellence which makes a real difference to the lives of the people they work with.”

Guest of honour was Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, who is also chancellor of Queen Margaret University.

During the event, the Scotland’s Farmers and Farmers’ Wives choir performed. The choir are launching a single to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Who are Scotland’s 20 new Queen’s nurses?

  • Hilary Alba – Charge Midwife SNIPS Community Team, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Anne Burns – Family Nurse Partnership Supervisor, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Julie Churchill – Interim Team Manager for District Nursing, NHS Lothian
  • Jess Davidson – Senior Clinical Forensic Charge Nurse, NHS Lothian
  • Lorna Dhami – Practice Nurse and Practice Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Michelle Duffy – Advanced Practice Respiratory Nurse, NHS Highland
  • Kelvin Frew – Team Leader – Crisis Assessment & Treatment Service, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Joan Gracie – Team Leader School Nursing, NHS Forth Valley
  • Ian Hall – Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Shapinsay, NHS Orkney
  • Hazel Hamilton – Senior Charge Nurse Community, Annandale & Eskdale, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Delia Howlett – District Nurse Team Leader, NHS Borders
  • Ally Lister – District Nurse Team Leader, NHS Grampian
  • Gemma MacDonald – Health Visitor, NHS Fife
  • Kate McConville – Peripatetic Clinical Service Manager, BUPA Care Services
  • Barbara McFadzean – District Nursing Sister, NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • Rachel McReady – Parish Nurse, Steeple Church, Dundee
  • Kitty Millar – Practice Nurse, NHS Highland
  • Lesley Paterson – Professional and Practice Development Nurse, NHS Tayside
  • Clare Stiles – Team Leader (Child Health), NHS Shetland
  • Debra Vickers – Nurse Consultant Cardiology, NHS Western Isles
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