Care home residents share Jane’s award joy

Celebrations are planned at Forthland Lodge care home after a staff member was named Nurse of the Year.

Jane Reales trained for four years as a nurse and then worked in a hospital in her native Philippines for a further five years before moving to Scotland in 2001.

When she arrived, Jane worked in an Edinburgh hotel for six years, then in 2007 landed her current job as a nurse at Forthland Lodge care home in Alemoor Park, Restalrig, helping elderly and vulnerable people with personal and social care.

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She has now been recognised for her hard work at the Meallmore Ltd’s award ceremony, which took place at Perth Race Course, picking up the prestigious prize.

What makes this award particularly special is how it is decided – the staff, residents and their families at the Edinburgh care home vote for the nurse that they believe has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

“I didn’t even know that I’d been put in for the award until I received a letter,” Jane said, at the nomination.

The annual award ceremony saw finalists from more than 350 entries in 11 different categories, including Carer of the Year, Nurse of the Year, Care Newcomer and Meaningful Activities.

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“It’s an honour, I’m just so happy to be appreciated for my work,” said Jane. “To be a finalist, and then to get the award – it’s an achievement for me.”

All of the winners were presented with an engraved crystal plaque and a gift voucher. Jane’s family expressed their happiness at her achievement from the Philippines, but she said it was hard because of the distance. “They were very pleased that I got the award, but I’m so far away from my family.”

One relative has been able to share in Jane’s joy, however. Her brother has been visiting Scotland, although there has not been time to have a party yet. Jane said: “We haven’t been able to celebrate because we had so many things booked.”

Although Jane is satisfied with the recognition she has received, this award might not be her last. She is now eligible to attend the Scottish National Care Awards in November.

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Gerry Hennessey, managing director of Meallmore, said: “Jane is an excellent nurse who is a great support to all staff and is well liked by residents, relatives and visitors to the home.

“She provides Forthlands with excellent holistic care and clinical nursing skills.”

A party will be planned at Forthland Lodge when a fellow nominee and colleague returns from annual leave.

Jane says she plans to continue her work at the care home: “I’m quite happy in this job!”

The secret to keeping the residents happy? “You just give the best care to them, respect who they are, and be yourself.”