Happy Birthday To Us

Happy Birthday To Us

As the NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary, Staff News looks at some of the health heroes in NHS Forth Valley over the past seven decades and the great strides forward in treatment and technology.

Retired midwife – Jean Fowler

Jean began her career in 1957. Apart from two spells in Australia, she spent almost her whole career until l999 at Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary. She began working as a theatre nurse but after midwifery training realised she had found her niche. She remembers: no husbands in the labour room, 95 per cent of deliveries were made without medical intervention and a doctor called only if absolutely needed. The foetal heartbeat was monitored through a stethoscope and at times there was only one ventilator in the maternity unit. No oxygen for home deliveries and makeshift swabs with midwives asking mothers to fill a biscuit tin with cotton wool balls, punch holes in the lid and pop them into the oven to sterilise them!

Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon – John Camilleri-Brennan

One of the most upsetting problems after childbirth is incontinence. John Camilleri- Brennan and his team have established endoanal ultrasound to diagnose and help in the treatment of anal sphincter defects. Under his lead the team have also developed a protocol for the management of tears and pelvic floor disorders. His team was the first in Scotland and only second in the UK to introduce anal implants to tighten sphincter muscles and they continue to hold twice-yearly training sessions for consultants to share expertise.

Practice Nurse – Margaret Briggs

Seventy one years young, Margaret Briggs spends her time between Airthrey Park Medical Centre, a GP surgery in Camelon and her own travel clinic. She did retire a few years ago but missed her job so much she just had to come back. Margaret was a former psychiatric nurse but became a Practice Nurse in l986 when the role was still in its infancy. Today’s Practice Nurses offer a wide range of care and treatment as well as running clinics ranging from chronic disease to contraception. Margaret now has 50 years’ service under her belt and says her husband believes she will leave this world still wearing her uniform!

Volunteer – Rosemary Fletcher

After more than 40 years as an occupational therapist Rosemary Fletcher now coordinates the many volunteers who give up their time to help local patients. When she joined the NHS in 1970 occupational therapy was centred on hospital-based rehabilitation, with craft activities. Today it is focused on daily living and being able to get yourself out of bed, get dressed and prepare for the day and life ahead.

Rosemary  is now in charge of recruiting and deploying members of Forth Valley’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Programnme (RSVP).

“People over 60 like me” she says, “haven’t come to the end of their life. They still have lots to offer and it is about how we can fit these people back into roles that they are going to enjoy and get benefit from themselves, as well as giving back to the NHS.”

AHP Manager for Children’s Services – Morag McKellar

For 40 years Morag McKellar has tried to improve health through better nutrition, working direct with patients in hospital, and advising on prison menus and national diet action plans. She didn’t set out to be a dietitian but her mother was a nurse and Morag was interested in health and science, hence the science of nutrition.

Morag was instrumental in shaping the vision of what a balanced diet should be, including the Scottish Diet Action Plan which laid out recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake and advisory limits for sugar consumption. She also played a key role in the development of NHS Forth Valley’s Food Policy, the first of its kind in Scotland. Her mantra is dietetics is not all about cooking and eating, rather aiding recovery by helping people make the right choices about food.

Elected a Fellow of the British Dietetic Association for her significant contribution to the development of the profession, she was awarded an OBE in 2017.

Party Time

Tea parties galore marked the 70th anniversary of the NHS. Here’s a selection of photographs showing off how staff, patients and visitors across Forth Valley celebrated the big birthday.

Summer 2018 News