Nurse of the Year, media personality, national award winner and equality and diversity champion are just a handful of the accolades associated with Lynn Waddell, who retired recently after 40 years working within the NHS.
Lynn left on a high note, following the opening of a project she masterminded – the Meadows, a centre which offers support to victims of rape and sexual abuse – a fitting end to a career which began with her working as an auxiliary nurse at Bellsdyke Hospital and ended with her post as Equality and Diversity Manager.
Lynn originally wanted to be a police officer but her eyesight let her down (in those days glasses were not permitted!). After qualifying as a nurse, Lynn was seconded in 1993 to a project working with the deaf. This post became permanent and NHS Forth Valley was the first health board in Scotland to have a Disability Adviser.
In 2001, Lynn was awarded the Queen’s Nursing Institute Award for Partnership Working and in 2004 was seconded to the Scottish Government’s Health Department as a Senior Practice Development Officer to help prepare NHS Boards in Scotland for the Disability Equality Duty 2005. For the last seven years of her career Lynn worked as NHS Forth Valley’s Gender Based Violence Lead and Equality and Diversity Manager.
Lynn’s work has featured in a number of journals and books, including national guidance she developed on the care of deaf pregnant women, as well as TV and radio. She was also filmed by the BBC when she won Nurse of the Year award.
Lynn’s career has encompassed some extraordinary moments. Involved in the design of Bo’ness Hospital, Lynn attended the official opening and while the foyer was being vacuumed she politely stood back and ended up sitting on top of the ceremonial cake!
Lynn also sang with the NHS Forth Valley Nurses Choir and when the choir appeared on the Michael McIntyre Christmas Show in 2017 she impersonated a gorilla. She was then accused of stealing presents from under the Christmas tree, when in actual fact she had left her bottle of water on stage and had darted back to try to retrieve it!
Lynn is pictured with some of her Police Scotland colleagues with whom she worked closely. They presented her with a plaque and flowers to mark her retirement.