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A Gloucestershire mental health nursing consultant has been awarded the highest Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Fellowship award.

Roland Dix, who works at ²gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Wotton Lawn Hospital, received the honour at the Royal College’s annual congress held at the Liverpool ACC arena on 15 June.

Speaking at the national RCN congress awards ceremony, RCN Chief Executive Dr Peter Carter said: “The RCN Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship are the highest awards the Royal College of Nursing can bestow. They are given to those who have made an exceptional contribution to nursing or health care – whether through clinical innovation, leadership, research or practice development.”

Roland has created a number of health care innovations that have significantly contributed to the psychiatric intensive care and low secure movement in this country. He has led on the design and commissioning of a new nurse-driven psychiatric intensive care which developed a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence. Despite his high profile, he remains actively involved in clinical work and is highly valued by the patients he works with and the staff he leads.

Roland began his career in 1984 as a health care assistant at Horton Road Hospital Gloucester. He was appointed editor-in-chief of the international Journal of Psychiatric Intensive care for Cambridge University Press in 2005. Over the last 20 years he has held a number of posts within Gloucestershire mental health services and the last 10 years as the Consultant and clinical lead for Gloucestershire’s Greyfriars Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). 

The new Greyfriars PICU building opened in 2010. The service has gained both a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence. Over the years, it has received visitors from several European countries as well as the from US, Australia and Asia.

Commenting on his award Roland said “I am extremely pleased that services in Gloucestershire have been recognized in this way. I was very surprised and pleased to receive the honour which is down to the commitment and hard work of a large number of people I have been privileged to work with over the years.”