An inspirational Barrhead woman has been appointed a Queen’s Nurse in recognition of her high-quality, compassionate care.

Kate McConville, 29, was one of just 20 UK nurses selected for a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).

It is a historic achievement for the Bupa clinical service manager, given this is the first the honour has been bestowed in Scotland in almost half a century.

Kate is also the only nurse who works in private care homes to have been enrolled on the course.

She was presented with her certificate and badge by Great British Bake Off judge, Prue Leith, during a QNIS awards ceremony in Edinburgh last Friday.

Kate says she now plans to use the title to encourage more people to consider aged care as a career choice.

She said: “For many, working in A&E seems to be more exciting.

“But in care homes you get the opportunity to take a holistic approach when caring for people and deal with a range of different clinical needs.

“You also need to take a person-centred approach and see the benefits this has on the person’s wellbeing and quality of life. It’s very rewarding.”

Kate joined Bupa as a staff nurse in 2010, and was soon promoted to unit manager and then to a new role as peripatetic clinical service manager.

She now has overall responsibility for maintaining and improving services in all of Bupa’s Scottish care homes.

Based in Barrhead, Kate travels the country visiting homes overseeing all clinical managers and undertaking the induction and training of new team members.

Kate added: “It has given me greater resilience, and permission to be bolder.”

Having completed the QNIS programme, Kate earns the right to use the Queen’s Nurse title, which dates back to the late 19th century when nurses trained at Institute sites across the country until 1969.

The reintroduction of the title in Scotland this year followed a precedent set by sister organisation, the Queen’s Nursing Institute, which represents the rest of the UK.

A Scottish programme was then developed.

Clare Cable, chief executive and nurse director of QNIS, said: “These 20 exceptional individuals can be deservedly proud of being awarded this prestigious title.

“From the late 1880s, Queen’s Nurses were social reformers who were 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 – sharing this pioneering spirit to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities of Scotland.

“Their roles vary, from bringing care to some of society’s most vulnerable and marginalised groups to supporting people in mental distress or end of life care.

“They represent the geography of Scotland, from rural communities and small islands to concentrated areas within the big cities, but they all demonstrate nursing excellence which makes a real difference to the lives of the people they work with.”