First Queen’s Nurses in 50 years

Hazel Hamilton from Lockerbie and Kelvin Frew, originally from the Stewartry, now based in Dumfries.
Hazel Hamilton from Lockerbie and Kelvin Frew, originally from the Stewartry, now based in Dumfries.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway is proud to announce that two local community nurses have been successfully selected to join the first cohort of 21st century Queen’s Nurses.

They will take part in a special professional development programme that will earn them and only 18 other nurses across Scotland, the right to use the coveted Queen’s Nurse Title.

On completion of the programme, they will be the first nurses to receive the title in Scotland for almost 50 years.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) was established by Queen Victoria in 1889 in honour of her Golden Jubilee. Historically, the Queen’s Nurse title was awarded to nurses who completed training that equipped them to work in the community. They provided healthcare and health promotion to people in their own homes, and were well respected in the communities in which they practised.

Kelvin Frew, who is the Team Leader for the Mental Health Crisis Team said: “I was enormously surprised to be selected, with Hazel, as one of the new, contemporary Queen’s Nurses – the first in Scotland for some 50 years.

“I have worked in mental health since 1989 and for the past 12 or so years have managed the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS Team), a job which is both challenging and rewarding.

“It is a privilege to meet people who are dealing with the most enormous challenges in their lives and to watch them overcome so many of these challenges and move on to more productive and purposeful lives. I have worked with, and continue to work with, a fantastic team of people.

“The Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland helps us become the “best version of ourselves that we can be” and approach our work with compassion and courage. Above all, to make a positive difference in the pursuit of a thriving Scotland.

“These are values that I hold dear and I know they are shared with many of my colleagues.

“I value the opportunity to let people know about the wonderful work that modern Mental Health Nurses do and to continue to try to play my part in the delivery of mental health care in Dumfries and Galloway to the best of my ability.”

As part of the QNIS programme, Kelvin and Hazel recently spent a residential week in Fife.

Hazel said: “These amazing individuals from all areas of Scotland are all caring, knowledgeable, motivated and inspirational people. They are all willing to put their heads above the parapet to make a difference in providing excellence of care within their areas of expertise as are we.”

Kelvin added; “I have been humbled, inspired, over-awed at times and thoroughly impressed by the work that these people do. I can honestly say that it has also been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life!”

The modern Queen’s Nurses, drawn from Health Boards and other independent organisations across Scotland, will enable teams to promote health improvement and deliver quality care.

“The shift towards providing more care closer to people’s homes offers exciting opportunities for the further development of community nursing,” says Eddie Docherty, NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s Nurse Director. Once they have completed the QNIS development programme, the modern Queen’s Nurses will support new models of care to promote health improvement and local delivery of services.

“All the nurses who are taking part in our programme have demonstrated their impact as experienced practitioners and clinical leaders,” says Clare Cable, Chief Executive and Nurse Director of QNIS. “Now they want to further enhance their professional skills by really making a difference for Scotland’s communities as Queen’s Nurses.”

“With health policy rapidly shifting the balance of care towards care at home, it is an opportune time to highlight the important contribution of community nurses,” says Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer, Fiona McQueen. “The return of Queen’s Nurse title is a very welcome mark of professional excellence.”