Many congratulations from former colleagues were posted on social media, following the announcement that former Respiratory Consultant Dr Melanie Cross, who worked in Forth Valley for more than ten years, had been awarded an OBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021 for services to respiratory medicine.
Her story reached almost 32,000 people and many patients and colleagues paid tribute to the amazing care she provided during her time in Forth Valley.
Dr Cross played a pivotal role when coronavirus emerged, helping to convert the respiratory ward at Forth Valley Royal Hospital into the first Covid-19 receiving ward. She also worked with colleagues to secure additional oxygen supplies and ventilation equipment and organised training and education for local staff, including how to use the new PPE.
As well as her efforts to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Cross, who recently left NHS Forth Valley to take up a post as Respiratory Consultant for Sleep Medicine and Home Ventilation services with NHS Lothian, continued to maintain local lung cancer services, using video consultations to keep in contact with her patients to help avoid potential delays in diagnosis and treatment.
Three other members of the Home First Team were also recognised for their services to health and social care throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the start of the outbreak, Deborah Jackson and the Home First Team worked within Forth Valley Royal Hospital to support patient discharges to provide additional capacity for those suffering the worst effects of Covid-19. Deborah worked tirelessly with patients, staff and their families to build the necessary relationships to make this happen.
Nicola Harvey was a key member of the Incident Response Team for the Falkirk Health and Social Care, whilst continuing to undertake her duties as Home First manager.
Nicola said: “I’m over the moon but a bit shocked. It’s just humbling and overwhelming – I was only doing my job. I’ve being working at this for 27 years, it’s just what I do. This award was down to the hard work of colleagues.
Also collecting a BEM was Claire Duffy. She too supported the discharge programme and also received her award for services to health and social care.