Lorraine Close receives prestigious Queen’s Nurse Award


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Lorraine Close is among a group of 20 extraordinary clinical nurse leaders to have been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse.

Lorraine Close was selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).

The Outreach Director at Edinburgh Community Yoga, was nominated for working tirelessly to promote the importance of trauma informed approaches when working with people affected by addiction and poor mental health, taking a particular interest in low socio-economical and under-resourced communities.

After completing the programme successfully, Miss Lorraine Close was awarded the historic Queen’s Nurse title along with 19 other community nurses and midwives at a ceremony staged on Friday (2 December) evening at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh.

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 their community.

Following the introduction of a national certificate for district nursing, QNIS ceased training, awarding the original QN District Nursing title for the final time in 1969.

However, the decision was made to reintroduce the Queen’s Nurse title to Scotland in 2017, with 20 community nurses chosen to take part in a transformational development programme which would see them become the first modern Queen’s Nurses, representing the range of contemporary community nursing and midwifery roles.

Nurses are selected by employer nomination, and subsequent panel interviews for their clinical expertise and compassionate care.

This year, 20 community nurses were selected to complete the nine-month programme which consists of a week-long residential workshop followed by two further workshops and individual coaching sessions.

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.

Other community nurses in the group include a Neurology Nurse Specialist for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, a community Children’s Nursing Team Leader and an Advanced Nurse Practitioner working on an Orcadian island.

Nurses provide a wide range of support to the people in their communities including complex care for older people, support for substance misuse and advocacy for people with learning disabilities.

Those working in community mental health, district nursing, school nursing, care home nursing and health visiting are also part of the group.

At Friday’s formal ceremony, each nurse received a Queen’s Nurse badge, designed by Silversmiths Ortak, a certificate, and a specially commissioned Harris Tweed sash or tie, presented by Chief Nursing Officer Professor Alex McMahon

Clare Cable, QNIS Chief Executive and Nurse Director, said:

“These 20 exceptional individuals can be deservedly proud of being awarded this prestigious title.

From the late 1880s, Queen’s Nurses were social reformers who were taking public health into people’s homes to help families take better care of themselves. The modern Queen’s Nurses are building on this proud heritage – sharing this pioneering spirit to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities of Scotland.

Their roles vary, from bringing care to some of society’s most vulnerable and marginalised groups to supporting people in mental distress or end of life care. 

They represent the geography of Scotland, from rural communities and small islands to concentrated areas within the big cities, but they all demonstrate nursing excellence which makes a real difference to the lives of the people they work with.”