Skye nurse on Queen’s award programme

PHOTO: Willie Urquhart

A Skye nurse has been accepted to one of the most prestigious programmes in the profession.

Helen Gilpin (pictured), Highland Council’s lead nurse for looked after and care experienced children, is working towards the Queen’s Nurse Award, which is run through the Queen’s Nursing Institute for Scotland Programme.

The institute is the most prestigious nursing institute in the UK and was established by Queen Victoria in the late 1800’s.

Helen, from Portree, is the only nurse from across Highland and Argyll and Bute on this year’s programme.

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.

The chair of Highland Council’s health, social care and wellbeing committee, Councillor Linda Munro, 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 council’s ‘promise’ sets out a vision and blueprint for transformational change.

Jane Park, head of service for health at Highland 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.”

Chair of Highland Council’s education committee, John Finlayson, said: “I am delighted to hear that Helen has been selected for this opportunity and 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.

“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.”