Delia’s delight in new title of Queen’s Nurse

Delia Howlett, team leader for the seven groups of district nurses that cover Coldstream and Greenlaw, at Coldstream Health Centre.
Delia Howlett, team leader for the seven groups of district nurses that cover Coldstream and Greenlaw, at Coldstream Health Centre.

A Coldstream based district nurse is among a group of 20 awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse, marking the first time the honour has been made in Scotland for almost 50 years.

Delia Howlett was selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS); one of a number of community nurses nominated by their manager for the high quality, compassionate care they provide.

Based at Coldstream Health Centre, Delia has been NHS team leader for the seven groups of district nurses that cover Berwickshire and Cheviot since 2016. She has clinical nursing responsibility in Coldstream and Greenlaw, where she manages a group of NHS nursing staff attached to local GP practices with around 5,500 patients on their lists.

Delia’s enthusiasm for the Dutch Buurtzorg model of care, combining district nursing and homecare to allow people to live independently for as long as possible, helped create the groundswell of support which has led to Coldstream piloting the first Scottish Buurtzorg scheme.

Speaking about becoming a Queen’s Nurse, Delia said: “I was absolutely delighted to be nominated by NHS Borders for this development programme.

“I have received the most amazing support from my team here at Coldstream in order to complete the programme for which I am hugely grateful. I feel very honoured and privileged to be awarded the title of Queens Nurse.”

The Queen’s Nurse title dates back to the late 19th century and continued until 1969. The decision to reintroduce the title to Scotland in 2017 led to a Scottish programme being developed after extensive consultation with health and social care leaders.

Delia was among the 20 new Queen’s Nurses to be presented with a certificate and badge by Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith during the QNIS awards ceremony in Edinburgh on Friday, December 1.

Clare Cable, chief executive QNIS, said: “From the late 1880s, Queen’s Nurses were social reformers, taking public health into people’s homes to help families take better care of themselves. The modern Queen’s Nurses are building on this proud heritage.”