Jess Davidson, a Senior Clinical Forensic Charge Nurse in the South East Scotland Custody Healthcare and Forensic Examination Service, has received the RCN’s top honour in recognition of her superbly innovative and compassionate practice at RCN Congress in Belfast.
Theresa Fyffe, RCN Scotland Director, said:
“This is a thoroughly deserved award for Jess. Her professionalism and innovative approach to care is fully matched by the care and compassion she displays for highly vulnerable people, often at the most difficult times of their life.
“Jess is a one-woman powerhouse, who has redefined the ‘place of safety’ concept and refuses to accept that police cells are suitable as a last resort for holding people in distress. She believes that everyone has the right to give the best possible account of themselves and that is a key purpose of her initiative as people pass through custody”
Jess is recognised as a national pioneering nursing leader in the field of criminal justice services, with a career in this field spanning over 20 years. She provides a dedicated frontline, nurse-led emergency service for highly vulnerable people brought into custody. The original service set up for Lothian and Borders was so highly valued and successful that Jess was seconded to lead the expansion of the innovative service across the whole region. As well as providing on-site healthcare, Jess’ project supports police colleagues with the clinical decisions on, for example, suitability for detention, interview or appearance in court.
Commenting on her award, Jess Davidson said:“It’s a great honour to be awarded a Fellowship of the RCN and a major surprise. In becoming a Fellow, I hope to ameliorate the professional experience of nurses within Justice and Forensic nursing, and help them to have the most powerful and authentic experience that they can in their careers. Through this we may be able to help our patients to become well, which is the aim of a nurse. I would like to thank the RCN Scotland Board for their support of my dedicated efforts within criminal justice nursing.