A health visitor and a community mental health nurse from NHS Tayside are among a group of 20 people to have been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse.
Health visitor team leader Keri Hollis is based at Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre in Forfar where she supports around 20 health visitors and early years workers across Angus.
Lindsey Griffin works as a clinical and professional team manager for Perth & Kinross HSCP, leading and managing a range of staff across various community services.
They were selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).
Keri and Lindsey were nominated by their employers for providing high quality, compassionate care to people in their communities.
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 last week.
Keri, from Arbroath, has been working in health visiting for almost 20 years.
She said, “My primary role is making a difference in children’s lives to make sure they have the best possible start. The other part of my role is supporting health visitors doing the job themselves.
“I am passionate about the difference health visitors can make to young children and their families to enable and support them to achieve their full potential.
“I am honoured to become a Queen’s Nurse and hope to use the title as well as the knowledge and skills gained throughout the programme to further develop the service and promote the excellent care within our community.”
Lindsey, from Perth, has been working within mental health nursing since 1988, with 20 years’ experience of working in community mental health. Lindsey said, “I have a genuine interest in people and how they experience their world, I think that’s what I love about my role. Working within the community, you are in such a privileged position of being invited into a person’s life – to see life how they see it.
“Community mental health nursing really is the storytelling profession – it is a profession of the heart. For me it’s about working alongside people who often struggle to have a voice, to create an intimacy of understanding with people and work with them to realise their value and potential.
“Collectively we need to challenge the silence, the injustice and the stigma around mental ill health and place the same value on mental health as we do on physical health. This is a lifelong commitment for me and I work hard to challenge inequalities within the mental health arena, setting the tone for inclusivity, candour and collaboration.”
NHS Tayside Interim Nurse Director Sarah Dickie said, “I wish to congratulate Keri and Lindsey on their Queen’s Nurse achievement. This a great honour so well done to them both.
“As expert clinical leaders working in our Tayside communities they are in a unique position to share positives messages about contemporary practice and network with colleagues in support of the Queen’s Nursing Institute Vision of ‘promoting excellence in community nursing to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland’.
“NHS Tayside is proud to support all of our Queen’s Nurses.”
The Queen’s Nurse title dates back to the 19th century when nurses trained at institutes across Scotland until 1969. It was reintroduced 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. Lesley Paterson, a professional and practice development nurse in NHS Tayside was amongst this first group.
The programme consists of a week-long residential workshop followed by two further workshops and coaching sessions in between. Each nurse selects 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.