Highland Council’s Lead Nurse for Looked After and Care Experienced Children has been accepted for the Queens nursing programme and is working towards the prestigious Queen’s Nurse Award.
Helen Gilpin was nominated and, through a rigorous selection and interview process, has been accepted onto the Queens Nursing Institute for Scotland Programme.
This institute is the most prestigious nursing institute in the UK and was established by Queen Victoria in the late 1800s – very few nurses are accepted onto the programme and Ms Gilpin is the only nurse from across Highland and Argyle and Bute.
The programme lasts a year and she has chosen to present and study her knowledge on improving health outcomes for care experienced children and young people.
Councillor Linda Munro, the chairwoman of the council’s Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, said: “On behalf of the committee I’d like to wish Helen well on her studies and this acknowledges some of the expert resource we have in Highland to support outcomes for care experienced young people and children and 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.
Jane Park, head of service for health at the council, 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.”
Councillor John Finlayson, the chairman of the council’s Education Committee, said: “I am delighted to hear that Helen has been selected for this opportunity and as I know her from my days as a headteacher, when she was both a parent at my school and also our school nurse.
“I can confirm 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. I look forward to hearing from Helen about this opportunity and also reading the results of her studies at a later date.”
More info around going through the programme and being a Queen’s Nurse can be found here.