A DEDICATED worker at the Erskine veterans’ charity has told of her pride after being awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse.

Lesley Wylie was selected to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).

She is the manager of Erskine’s specialist dementia home in Bishopton, where she is responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day operation of the hub, which is home to 40 residents.

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Lesley was nominated by her bosses for her caring and compassionate nursing expertise, as well as for being a supportive and inspirational leader.

After successfully completing the programme she was awarded the historic Queen’s Nurse title, along with 20 other community nurses, at a ceremony in Edinburgh last week.

It marks only the second time honours have been given out in Scotland in almost 50 years, following the re-introduction of the historic title in 2017.

Lesley, who lives in Helensburgh, has been working as a care-home nurse for almost 20 years and has spent the last decade working for Erskine.

She said: “In care-home nursing, your drive is to make people’s life worthwhile and meaningful – nothing is too small.

“I can’t imagine working anywhere other than in a care home. I just wouldn’t get the same joy and fulfilment out of my job.

“I am incredibly proud to have gained the Queen’s Nurse title and hope to use it to promote the care-home nursing role as an innovative and developing area of practice.”

Queen’s Nursing in Scotland dates back to the late 19th century, when nurses completed specific training which allowed them to work as district nurses.

They provided healthcare and health promotion to people in their own homes and became well respected figures within the community.

Following the introduction of a national certificate for district nursing, QNIS ceased training, awarding the Queen’s Nurse title for the last time in 1969.

However, the decision was made to reintroduce Queen’s Nurses to Scotland last year, with a small group of community nurses chosen to take part in a development programme which would see them become the first modern Queen’s Nurses.

The process involves employers nominating a community-based nurse who will go forward for interview following a successful written application.

This year, 21 community nurses were selected to complete the programme, which consists of a week-long residential workshop followed by two further workshops and coaching sessions in between.

The programme requires them to choose 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.

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Derek Barron, director of care at Erskine, said: “We are proud of Lesley’s achievement in being awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse.

“Lesley is an inspirational manager and leader who has our residents at the centre of everything she does.”