A Skye woman is the only nurse within NHS Highland to have been accepted onto the Queen’s Nursing Institute for Scotland programme.
Helen Gilpin, Highlands’ lead nurse for looked-after and care-experienced children and young people is now working towards the prestigious Queen’s Award.
Helen, who lives in Kensaleyre, was nominated and went through a rigorous selection and interview process to be accepted onto the programme.
This institute was established by Queen Victoria in the late 1800s.
Very few nurses are accepted onto the programme and Helen is the only nurse from the NHS Highland area.
The programme lasts a year and Helen has chosen to present and study her knowledge on improving health outcomes for care experienced children and young people.
Councillor Linda Munro, chairwoman of Highland Council’s health, social care and wellbeing committee wished Helen well on her studies.
She said: “This acknowledges some of the expert resource we have in Highland to support outcomes for care-experience young people and children.”
Jane Park, the council’s head of service (health) said: “Helen is an experienced nurse who served the Skye community, as a school nurse, for many years and more recently brought her expertise and skills to support the health of care experienced children and young people across Highland.
“As a service we are incredibly proud of Helen’s contribution in Highland and her acceptance to the QNIS programme is very well deserved.”
Skye councillor John Finlayson, said: “I am delighted to hear that Helen has been selected for this opportunity as I know her from my days as a head teacher, when she was both a parent at my school and also our school nurse.
“She truly deserves this opportunity for the work she has done both as a school nurse and as the lead nurse for looked-after children and care-experienced young people in Highland in recent years.”
Councillor Munro added: “Helen’s acceptance comes at a good time when we are looking to move forward with delivering on The Promise.”
The Promise sets out a vision and blueprint for transformational change. At its heart are five foundations:
Voice: Children must be meaningfully heard and listened to in all decisions about their care.
Family: Where children are safe in their families and feel loved, they must stay
Care: Where living with their family is not possible, children must stay with their brothers and sisters when safe to do so
People: The children that Scotland cares for must be actively supported to develop relationships with people in the workforce and wider community.
Scaffolding: Children, families and the workforce must be supported by a system that is there when needed. The scaffolding of help, support and accountability must be ready and responsive when it is required.