VOLUNTEERS from Clackmannanshire and staff at Glenochil prison were among the winners at the 2019 NHS Forth Valley staff awards night recently.

Multiple awards were given out at the Albert Hall in Stirling to those who had gone above and beyond their duty of care.

The healthcare team at HMP Glenochil won the chairman’s award for their drive and leadership in developing palliative and end of life care within the prison.

Increasingly, inmates with terminal conditions are asking to stay in prison for end of life care and staff have developed new ways of working to support this. The nomination says their achievement is the envy of prison healthcare teams across Scotland.

Elsewhere, a group of volunteers who run sessions across Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Stirling for patients with hearing aids won the Volunteer Award.

Their open sessions are the only ones of their kind in Scotland and they can see up to 90 patients in three hours, providing urgent help for hearing aid issues thus avoiding unnecessary waits for appointments.

Furthermore, the Innovation Award was given to a multi-disciplinary team which helps patients with hip and knee problems.

The Best in Class initiative has resulted in more than a 10 per cent reduction in referrals to orthopaedic services and was recently filmed by the BBC after it was highlighted as an example of best practice in a recent Audit Scotland report on primary care.

The scheme is now being rolled out to other areas in Forth Valley and has attracted interest from other NHS Boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships across Scotland.

NHS Forth Valley chairman Alex Linkston, who presented the awards, said: “The staff awards recognise the hard work, care and commitment of staff and volunteers across the organisation.

“These local awards are really important as they help demonstrate how much the efforts of our staff are really appreciated by colleagues and patients alike.”

Other winners include Alec Souter, a hospital porter who won the Unsung Hero award and Theresa Connor, a senior charge nurse for learning disabilities at the hospital, who was given the inaugural Helen Kelly award.

Alec, a keen piper, was entertaining patients in a ward when he was told of a veteran who did not have long to live. He made his way to the patient’s bedside and performed two songs. The soldier’s family were reduced to tears by the performance which concluded with the two men saluting each other.

Theresa organised for a 42-year-old man with aggressive cancer to perform alongside her with the Forth Valley’s Nurses Choir. Performing with a choir was on the man’s bucket list and he described the event as one of the best experiences of his life.

Other winners on the night were Lochview’s nursing team who collected the Outstanding Care award, a multi-disciplinary team who won the Innovation award and the Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Team, who won the Top Team award for Clinical Services.

Wendy Handley, a food development worker, won the Inspiration award for her work with people in prisons across Forth Valley and The Top Team award for Support Services was won by NHS Forth Valley’s HR Recruitment Team.