Right royal honour at double for Borders nurses

Two nurses in the Borders have been given a right royal honour.

Learning disability nurse Fiona Mason.
Learning disability nurse Fiona Mason.

Jane Douglas, chief executive at Queen’s House in Kelso, and Fiona Mason, a senior charge nurse with NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council’s learning disability service, have been awarded the title of queen’s nurse after comleting a nine-month development programme.

They were among 18 nurses given that accolade at a ceremony in Edinburgh by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland for providing high-quality, compassionate care.

Jane, 57, of Denholm, has been with Queen’s House for three years and was appointed chief executive, in charge of 125 staff, in April.

Kelso care home nurse Jane Douglas.

She said: “I have worked in care home nursing for many years across a range of roles before I was lucky enough to get my current job. I love where I am now. I am where I am meant to be.

“My aim is that people experience life in a care home positively, that they have a voice and they are able to be autonomous as much as they can be. By doing this and listening hard to what people prefer, I hope we are able to achieve wellbeing.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to receive the queen’s nurse title. I am passionate about promoting the role of the nurse in care homes, an important role which requires skills and knowledge in the field of older people and people living with dementia.

“I hope now to be able to further raise the profile of nurses in care homes.”

Fiona, 45, based in her home-town of Earlston, works within a multidisciplinary health and social care team.

She said: “I am in a very privileged position to be welcomed into people’s homes to work alongside individuals, their families and carers.

“To have people share parts of their life story with me is something I never take for granted.

“A large part of my role is assessing, monitoring, managing and treating physical and mental health.

“I work together with people with learning disabilities to help them navigate the system so they are able to receive the expert care they need.

“Having the queen’s nurse title will help to raise the profile of learning disability nursing, which is very important to me.

“It’s been an honour to have been given the opportunity to be part of an inspirational, innovative and forward-thinking group of nurses who can problem-solve and lead change to improve the quality of services within our various areas of expertise.”

Nicky Berry, director of nursing, midwifery and acute services at NHS Borders, added: “We are delighted that Fiona has been selected as a queen’s nurse. The shift towards providing care closer to people’s homes offers exciting opportunities for the further development of community nursing.

“Fiona’s work is vital, and we look forward to there being more queen’s nurses across NHS Borders.”

Jane and Fiona were presented with their titles by author Christie Watson at Edinburgh’s Waldorf Astoria hotel.