AYRSHIRE mental health nurses have been given high praise after being shortlisted as finalists for a UK award.

The NHS Ayrshire and Arran Carers Academy came close to picking up a gong at the RCNi Nurse Awards 2020. They had been competing in the Commitment to Carers category.

The winners were announced during a virtual ceremony on Monday, October 5 with the nursing team, who support families caring for their loved ones at home, missing out on the top prize which was given to Bolton NHS.

But the high recognition is a major boost for the team who secured their place at the finals by empowering informal carers of people with dementia to develop practical skills and expertise, as well as giving them emotional support through a one-day programme backed by telephone follow-up.

Dementia nurse consultant Susan Holland, who shaped the schedule for the programme, said: “We are particularly proud to have been selected as a finalists during the Year of the Nurse. The values of care, compassion and empathy are at the heart of our nursing profession and also underpin our Carers Academy work.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran nurse director Professor Hazel Borland said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to the team on behalf of NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

“This is a great opportunity to celebrate the dedication and commitment of the team, who truly embody our organisation’s values of safe, caring and respectful.”