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Glasgow midwife selected to be one of the first Queen’s Nurses in almost 50 years

Friday, March 10, 2017

A community midwife in Glasgow has been selected to be part of the first group of Queen’s Nurses in 48 years. 

Hilary Alba, a community midwife manager with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Special Needs in Pregnancy (SNIPS) team, will now take part in the professional development programme run by The Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS). 

Once they have completed the development programme, the modern Queen’s Nurses will work to promote health improvement and delivery of services in the local community. 

The SNIPS team manages women with the most complex social needs. Hilary’s role is focused on providing community midwifery service to women who are asylum seekers, have experienced people trafficking or female genital mutilation. 

Hilary started her career as a midwife at the Princess Royal Maternity, but since last March has been combining a managerial role with community midwifery in addition to lecturing at the University of the West of Scotland. 

Hilary said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be chosen as a Queen’s Nurse. The title hasn’t been awarded in almost 50 years but is always associated with excellence in the medical profession and will give our service added kudos. 

“The course will be very intensive, but we will be mentored and I’m confident that I’ll learn a great deal that I can also share with my team. It will be a real benefit meeting the other nurses selected and I’m certain we’ll be able to share ideas which I can then bring to my role with the SNIPS team.

“I moved into a community role as I want to use my skills to care for vulnerable women. Areas of Glasgow still experience high deprivation and we have welcomed asylum seekers into the city, so the new skills I pick up on the development programme will be invaluable. 

“The learning will filter down through the team which will improve our service even further. Treating more people in the community is the way forward for health services and we will be at the very forefront of this.” 

Dr Margaret McGuire, nursing director, said: “I’m delighted Hilary has been chosen to take part in the programme to become a Queen’s Nurse. Once she has completed the programme Hilary will help support new ways of promoting health improvement and further improving standards of care in the community.”

“Hilary has demonstrated her impact as an experienced practitioner. Now she has a wonderful opportunity to further enhance her professional skills and further highlight the invaluable work of the SNIPS team.” 

“With health policy rapidly shifting the balance of care towards care at home, it is an opportune time to highlight the important contribution of community nurses,” says Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer, Fiona McQueen. “The return of Queen’s Nurse title is a very welcome mark of professional excellence.” 

QNIS was established by Queen Victoria in 1889 in honour of her Golden Jubilee. Historically, the Queen’s Nurse title was awarded to nurses who completed training that equipped them to work in the community. They provided healthcare and health promotion to people in their own homes, and were well respected in the communities in which they practised. 

The new Queen’s Nurses will take part in a nine-month programme, developing and honing their existing skills and capabilities, culminating in an Awards Ceremony in December.

QNIS originally trained nurses for community district work, with the last award made in January 1969. Since then, QNIS has become a charity, promoting excellence in community nursing to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland.

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