MENTAL health and learning disability nurses in the Forth Valley have been shortlisted for prestigious awards.

Interim lead nurse for learning disability services Norah Quinn has been shortlisted in the Learning Disability Nursing category of the RCN Nursing Awards 2022.

The nomination came as the nurse worked hard to improve services at NHS Forth Valley by enhancing access to annual health checks, developing a learning disabilities advanced nurse practitioner post, revolutionising data collection and improving training in trauma across health and social care partnerships.

Mental health nurses Aimee Kidd and Linda Crothers, wellbeing leads for the behavioural psychotherapy team at NHS Forth Valley, have been shortlisted in the Mental Health Nursing category of the same awards scheme.

It comes as the duo implemented a staff support initiative when they returned from Covid-19 pandemic redeployment and noticed colleagues’ wellbeing had suffered.

All three will find out whether they have won at a London ceremony on October 6, organised by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Ms Quinn 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.”

For nurses Kidd and Crothers, having staff who are happy, healthy and are therefore more productive is paramount for a positive impact on patient care.

They said: “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.

“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 wellbeing.

“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.”