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Barchester Healthcare's Highland Heroine awarded MBE by Queen

19th December 2005

Fiona Drinnan, a 57 year old nursing professional from Fife, was awarded an MBE by the Queen at Buckingham Palace following the announcement in the New Year's Honours List earlier this year. Fiona received the accolade for her commitment to nursing and training services at Barchester Healthcare's Strachan House Care Home in Edinburgh, and for her outstanding work within her community.

Fiona began her career in healthcare in 1966, when she qualified as a Registered General Nurse (RGN). After acquiring her registration, Fiona worked as a staff nurse in the radiotherapy unit of a training hospital in Edinburgh for three years. She then enrolled on a midwifery course for a year.

In 1973, Fiona took a break from nursing to concentrate on being a mother, and to assist her husband with their grocery business. Two years later, she returned to her beloved profession, to work nights on a part-time basis.

Fiona took a further sabbatical from nursing in 1980, for 16 years, to enter into a reprographic business with her husband. During this period, she became actively involved with the events of her parish church and the local community. She particularly enjoyed working with the charity, L'Arche, a worldwide community of people who work along side adults with learning disabilities.

At the age of 46, Fiona returned to nursing on a full-time basis, and was employed as a staff nurse at Barchester Healthcare's Strachan House Care Home. She was later promoted to the position of charge nurse, after six years. After completing two trainer training courses, she was transferred to her current role as Moving and Handling Instructor. Her passion and energy was noted, and in 2003, a resident at Strachan House nominated her for an MBE.

Very much at home at Strachan House Care Home, Fiona counts many of the residents and staff members as friends. Fiona finds her job, extremely enjoyable and rewarding. To date, she has successfully trained over 150 staff members, of different levels and disciplines.

Many people have benefited from Fiona's big heart. In 2002, Fiona, along with two other staff nurses and the care home's hairdresser, gave up their annual leave to take part in the 'West Highland Wave'. This 95 mile, sponsored walk took them from Glasgow to Fort William, in the Highlands. They raised a grand total of £2,000 for the charity Alzheimer Scotland.

Fiona performed the same gruelling walk, the following year, purely in the name of fun.

Fiona is still an active member of the community, and contributes regularly to many local events. She divides her time between looking after her 86-year-old father, and catching up with her two children, Angela a clinical psychiatrist and Michael, who works in the hospitality industry.