Supporting the development of the NHS Lothian workforce has always been a funding priority for the Health Foundation, especially given that people frequently make donations to say “thank you” to staff that have cared for them or for their loved ones. However, it is not often that a funding proposal for staff development simultaneously creates an opportunity to commemorate a war hero.
The trustees were approached by a local historian and MP, with a view to commemorating the wartime achievements of Edinburgh doctor and suffragist Dr Elsie Inglis. This remarkable woman ignored the advice of the War Office (“My good lady, go home and sit still”), and worked instead with the French government to establish a number of Medical Units, staffed by qualified women, until her death in service in 1917. Many will remember the Elsie Inglis Memorial Hospital, which honours her earlier work in establishing a maternity hospital in the 1890s.
In August 2014 the Elsie Inglis Staff Development Awards was launched: a scheme which helps individual NHS Lothian staff in developing their potential through learning, to provide care of the highest possible quality, which is also safe, effective and person centred.
In the first year we made 40 awards to NHS Lothian staff.
“Staff from all over NHS Lothian are applying for grants to support their personal and professional development, to the benefit of patient care, both direct and indirect. The grant is in high demand, sometimes being applied for in conjunction with other department funding or through self funding. I hope that more non-clinical staff apply to the fund in the coming year’.
Practice Education Assistant Practitioner