AN NHS Borders worker has been praised after being named ‘Scotland Nurse of the Year’ at an awards ceremony.

Lynsey Russell picked up the prestigious prize at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland Awards last week.

The senior charge nurse in NHS Borders’ intensive therapy unit was also announced as the winner of the Clinical Leadership Award earlier in the evening.

There was more success for the health board at the ceremony, with learning disability nurse Rachel Gardiner winning the Learning Disability Award as part of a team of Queen’s Nurses.

Sarah Horan, director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at NHS Borders, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Lynsey and Rachel won the awards they were nominated for at the RCN awards on Thursday night. They are both worthy winners and deserve to be recognised for their hard work and dedication. We are incredibly proud of them both.

“Lynsey also winning the RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year title is a truly magnificent achievement. Lynsey works incredibly hard to make sure things are the best they can be for both her patients and her colleagues – and this award is a testament to how well she manages to do that every single day.”

Since taking on her current role at Borders General Hospital three years ago, Ms Russell has led on several projects aimed at both enhancing patient care and improving staff wellbeing. 

She was nominated for the Scotland Nurse of the Year award by her colleagues, who described her as committed and passionate about intensive care nursing.

The judges said they were inspired by her ‘passion, dedication and outstanding contribution’ to nursing.

Meanwhile, Ms Gardiner and the rest of the team were nominated for their work on the QNIS Think COULD animation project.

It aims to raise awareness about the need for better support for individuals with learning disabilities in the justice system. 

The team went “above and beyond” to reduce health inequalities by ensuring people with learning disabilities were supported.