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Publication Date: 30/09/2009 

National awards for duo 

Lee and Hannah make Flying Start 

Photos of Lee Samuel and Hanna Weir (née Easton) with their certificates. 

Lee Samuel and Hanna Weir (née Easton) with their certificates. 

Two NHS Lanarkshire colleagues received prestigious national awards from Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon for their work in improving patient care.

Innovative projects by Lee Samuel and Hannah Weir won two out of the five categories of awards within the Flying Start NHS national development programme.

NHS Lanarkshire chairman Ken Corsar praised the pair: “On behalf of the board I’d like to congratulate Lee and Hannah for their tremendous achievement in coming out on top in the whole of Scotland for their projects.

“I’m also very pleased Lee and Hannah received their awards from Nicola Sturgeon as this again emphasises the ongoing success of NHS Lanarkshire in staff development and improving patient care.”

Lee, an occupational therapist with the community mental health team, won the “Improving the Patient Experience” category.

Her winning project helped men and women improve their daily living skills, confidence and motivation through the creation of a soup group, ‘Simply Soup’ within Pather Occupational Therapy Clinic.

Lee, from Motherwell, said: “It was great to have the success of the project recognised in this way.

“Simply Soup has helped these individuals improve their communication skills, motivation and increase their confidence to try new foods.

“In addition, the skills they have used in creating, setting up, promoting and running the group have been transferable skills which they’ve been able to use in every day life.”

Meanwhile Hannah, a dietician at Wishaw General Hospital, won the “Using an Audit to Improve Service Delivery” category.

Her audit in the surgical, medical and care of the elderly wards at Wishaw, will help improve the feeding of patients through the use of naso-gastric tubes.

Hannah, who only returned from her honeymoon in Crete on the day of the award ceremony, said: “I didn’t even know there were awards - I only found out when I was short-listed - so it was a complete surprise to then learn I’d won.

“There was a lot of extra work involved on top of my duties but I really enjoyed it and glad it will help improve patient care.

“It’s nice to get the recognition for doing the work and it also helps show that dietitians are an important part of the medical team who want to contribute to improving the care of patients.”

Flying Start NHS is for all newly qualified nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHPs) in NHS Scotland.

It helps their transition from student to qualified health professionals by supporting their learning through a range of learning activities assisted by work-based mentors.

The Flying Start awards are giving to those newly qualified staff who have excelled in various projects they have been working on.

There are four award categories:

  • Using an audit to improve service delivery
  • Improving information for patients/carers
  • Improving the patient experience
  • Improving inter-professional team working and/or communication

From the initial 350 projects these were reduced whittled down to a final 19 – with NHS Lanarkshire having four finalists.