A HEALTH worker from Galashiels has been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse.

Rhona McLeman, a health visitor at NHS Borders, was selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).

After completing the programme successfully, Rhona was awarded the Queen’s Nurse title at a ceremony staged on Friday (November 24) at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh.

READ MORE: Nine-year-old boy left shaken after being pushed by man

This year, 24 community nurses/midwives were selected to complete the nine-month programme which consists of residential workshops, online workshops and individual coaching sessions.

Clare Cable, QNIS chief executive and nurse director, said: “These 24 exceptional individuals can be deservedly proud of being awarded this prestigious title.

READ MORE: Borders actor returns to TV as MI5 agent River Cartwright

“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 those who have experienced significant adversity to supporting people in mental distress or end of life care.

READ MORE: Update on Pines Burn Wind Farm turbine blade deliveries

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

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.

READ MORE: Valuable funding for popular Borders community groups

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

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.

There is an expectation that this work will have a focus on promoting equity and inclusion.

Community nurses and midwives 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 this vital group of health professionals.