Three Cheers for Unit 5

Senior Charge Nurse, Tracey Gow and her team at Falkirk Community Hospital are gearing up for the RCN Scotland nursing awards in June 2023 after being shortlisted for the Nursing Team of the Year – a nomination that has caused both pride and excitement in Unit 5.

Tracey Gow says that often caring in ageing and health can be seen as less glamorous than in some of the other wards but it’s just a different kind of nursing.

She said: “I just want to shout out loud my team provide the best care every time I speak with anyone from the postman to our heads of nursing. They are a great team and I am so proud to be a part of it. As this is the first RCN Scotland awards, they are making history and I am sure none of them will forget it – I certainly won’t let them!”

Unit 5 was a 16 bedded unit for patients with dementia who were in hospital awaiting nursing home care. During the Covid-19 pandemic it changed to a 21 bedded unit for people with dementia and prolonged delirium. Staff wanted to deliver better care to their patients, some of whom were becoming withdrawn, and they were able to get funding for an activity co-ordinator. This enabled more time to be spent with patients on a one-to one basis and to help identify their personal likes, dislikes, goals and motivations were could then be incorporated into individual care plans.

Following discharge feedback from families has been particularly rewarding with comments such as:

“I feel like I have got my dad back.”

“We never believed you when you said mum was getting assessed for future care, we believed it was just talk because how would she ever get home. We as a family are astonished at the work you have done with mum and now mum is back living at home and doing great, we can’t thank you enough.”

Staff feedback has also been very positive:

“I leave my shift knowing I have made a difference, seeing patients come here in hoists and then working with them to get some mobility back is my favourite.”

Tracey Gow added: “We are currently in the process of making the funding for the activity co-ordinator permanent due to the many positive changes and benefits that it has achieved. As a Senior Charge Nurse, I could not be prouder of my team and the way that they embraced changes with total belief, compassion and care.

“They give 110% every day to each other and their patients to ensure that they have purpose, worth and a better quality of life.”