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NHS Grampian first in Scotland to launch recognition award for nurses and midwives

By Kyle Ritchie

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NHS Grampian has joined healthcare facilities from 36 countries around the world by partnering with the DAISY Foundation to help recognise the clinical skills and compassion nurses and midwives provide to patients and families.

DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System and the not-for-profit organisation was formed in 1999 in memory of J Patrick Barnes.

The award is now recognised for its success in promoting patient and family-centred care, improving job satisfaction and retention, and celebrating the crucial work nurses and midwives do.

June Brown, executive nurse director for NHS Grampian said: “As nurses or midwives, we do our jobs every day with an aim to provide the best care possible.

"For our patients, their interactions with us are often at vulnerable times in their lives. While we see what we do as ordinary, what we do and say to our patients will be extraordinary for them and they will remember it for years to come.

“The whole ethos of the DAISY Award is about celebrating the nurses and midwives who do so much for so many people.

"It also helps to remind us why we do what we do and build team spirit. None of us work in isolation as health professionals and we are very good at being there for each other to make the difficult days better.

"This is a chance for our teams to recognise the positive impact they have and make the most of their successes together too."

Patients, carers or family members can nominate a nurse or midwife for a DAISY Award; anyone who experiences or observes extraordinary compassionate care being provided.

When lead prosthesis nurse Elaine Breen heard the DAISY Awards were being launched, she was keen to share her own family’s story and put nurse Pauline Keith forward as one of the first nominees.

Elaine said: “In September 2022 our world was suddenly changed into a battle for survival when my 60-year-old husband, Kenny, suffered a perforated gallbladder and sepsis.

“Although we are eternally grateful to everyone involved in his care, one nurse truly stood out for us. Pauline saw beyond the man with all the challenging medical conditions and saw the man he was to us; our rock, the father, the grandfather and husband.

Pauline Keith receives her award with Kenny and Elaine Breen who nominated her.
Pauline Keith receives her award with Kenny and Elaine Breen who nominated her.

"She truly was his advocate and her care of myself in those first few days when his life hung by a thread was absolutely outstanding.

“Her clinical care was exceptional but what made Pauline special was her empathy, her understanding towards us and her ability to make me feel that if I left the high dependency unit my husband would be safe.

“When he was wheeled away for surgery and my resolve to be strong crumbled, Pauline said ‘I’m so sorry this is happening to you’ and she hugged me while I cried.

"The level of compassion Pauline showed us is what made me feel that she deserves this award. Her inner self shines and supports people in their darkest times.”

Pauline was not “too sure what [she] did” when she heard she had been nominated, not seeing the extraordinary in her every day, as is so common among many of the more than 2 million honourees around the world.

Pauline said: “I’m just overwhelmed and happy. I honestly couldn’t believe it when I read into what it was.

"I’m sure lots of teams will enjoy celebrating the impact they have had on people’s lives as the awards programme gets going.”

June added: “We’re incredibly proud of Pauline and all our colleagues who truly listen, understand people’s needs and empathise.

"With International Day of the Midwife last week and International Nurse’s Day on Friday there is no better time to highlight what’s important to our professions in today’s world and the immense difference we make to people’s lives.”

To put forward a nomination for a DAISY Award or to find out more visit www.nhsgrampian.org/DAISY or email gram.nhsgdaisyaward@nhs.scot

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