NHS Lothian Employee Honoured in UK Ceremony

An NHS Lothian psychologist has been given a top accolade for her work in helping the region’s veterans.

Doctor Lucy Abraham, clinical psychologist and project lead at Veterans First Point, was named Healthcare Civilian of the Year in the UK Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards this week (21 May).

Dr Abraham, who was one of three finalists in her category, was nominated by her peers. Lucy’s motivation in improving services for veterans by sharing knowledge with clinical and peer support teams in Scotland was recognised.

Dr Abraham’s use of clinical expertise to provide input for Scottish and UK-wide working groups for veteran services was also noted alongside her dedication to increase agency partnerships and links to improve the quality of services available to veterans.

The prestigious Health Civilian Award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the health or social care of Armed Forces patients, their families or veterans.

Dr Abraham said: “I was delighted to be successful in this award.

“The award recognises the efforts of the entire Veterans First Point team who aim to offer the best care to veterans and their families. The true success story is the design of the Veterans First Point service model which combines welfare support and mental health support under one roof. A key strength of the service is the mixed team which includes peer support workers with experience and knowledge of the military and skilled clinicians to address any mental health condition.

“Through working together and sharing knowledge and experience, Veterans First Point can ensure a truly holistic care approach. Each client has a dedicated peer support worker to ensure they receive a credible, accessible and co-ordinated service.

“I hope that this award highlights the service to other veterans in need of assistance and encourages them to also come forward for help. I would like to thank the fantastic team I am privileged to work alongside. Also our service users who have informed the service design and direction and finally all the organisations that we have worked in partnership with since our opening in 2009.”

Linda Irvine, Strategic Programme Manager, Mental Health and Wellbeing, NHS Lothian, said:  “We are delighted that Lucy’s dedication and commitment to working with, and supporting Lothian veterans and families, has been recognised in such a special and prestigious way.”

Health Secretary, Alex Neil, said: “It is absolutely vital that our military and civilian health professionals get the recognition they deserve for their outstanding work and achievements over the past year and I am delighted that Dr Abraham has been rewarded for her work working with veterans and their families.  

“NHSScotland, the Defence Medical Services, and Civilian Health and Social Care Services work hard to provide the highest quality of care for their patients, and these awards are a perfect opportunity to highlight the fantastic work that can be achieved through partnership working.”

The annual awards celebrate the cooperation between the NHS, Armed Forces and Third Sector who work together to ensure military personnel, their families and veterans receive the best care, help and support.

Veterans First Point, which is funded by NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government, aims to provide a one-stop shop for veterans and their families living in Lothian.