BEM honour is no joke
LOCAL nurse Betty Williamson couldn’t believe her eyes when she opened a letter inviting her to accept a British Empire Medal for her services to ophthalmology, writes Bob Burgess.
The 57-year-old thought it was a joke – probably instigated by her husband Davie.
But she told The Wee Paper: “When I realised it was genuine, I had no hesitation in writing back to say that I would accepted the honour.”
Betty’s BEM was announced at the New Year and is for services to ophthalmology in the Borders. She’s been charge nurse at the eye department at the Borders General Hospital for seven years.
And she says it is a shared honour between herself, the BGH, and the ophthalmic unit in particular.
The specialist department is staffed by three consultants and 13 part-time nurses, and treats around 9,500 patients each year.
Betty told us: “We like this unit to be efficient and effective and that is up to the people who work here. It is thanks to all the staff – past and present – that I have received this award. You cannot do what I do on your own, it’s all about being a team. This is a shared honour which is good for the Borders General Hospital.
Chairman of NHS Borders John Raine told us: “This prestigious award shows that the extra effort Betty has put in to her work is appreciated by everyone around her – colleagues and patients alike. Her award is well deserved.”
Betty started her career at the former Peel Hospital in 1971 as a State Enrolled Nurse and moved to the BGH when it opened in 1988. She joined the ophthalmic unit in 1995 and, under specialist training from staff from the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion in Edinburgh, became a Registered General Nurse. She went on to graduate from Napier University with a BSc Honours in Nursing with Health.
The Borders Eye Centre opened in 1998 and since then patient numbers have doubled – probably the result of an ageing population.
Brought up at Craiglatch near Clovenfords, she married David and moved to Selkirk, but now lives at Bowhill. Daughter Karen lives in Galashiels.
Betty has yet to hear about the presentation arrangements.
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Weather for Selkirk
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 20 C
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Wind direction: West
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
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