The UK Association of Forensic Nurses and Paramedic’s Julie Tekin Award for Outstanding Contribution in Forensic Healthcare recognises an individual or team who have made a significant contribution. This is the second year of the award following the sad passing of our Treasurer, Julie Tekin. Julie was a Senior Forensic Nurse in a Sexual Assault Referral Centre in the North of England. In addition to her role with the association and her full-time job, Julie was an innovative, proactive trailblazer for teaching about consent and capacity to young adults in schools and colleges.
This year saw many worthy nominations working across police custody and sexual assault referral centres. Ms Smith, President, commented how reassuring and inspiring it was to receive so many high-quality nominations. However, there was one outstanding individual, Jessica Davidson. Jessica is senior clinical forensic Charge Nurse in police custody, forensic examination and specialist gender-based violence, and Programme Lead for the Advanced Forensic Practice course at the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
Jessica was nominated for successfully campaigning for the development of the Advanced Clinical Forensic Practitioner programme and developing the speciality of police custody and forensic examination nursing in Scotland. Currently, nurses in Scotland are unable to undertake the lead forensic medical examinations for people following sexual assault and rape. However, this programme will enable NHS boards throughout Scotland to support the trauma-informed Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Act 2021. Which ensures all persons who have survived rape and or sexual violence receive the care they deserve at the point of need.
The first cohort of students, for which Jessica was the Programme Lead, trained in sexual offences to support the Sexual Assault Response Coordination Services graduated in July this year. It is a testament to the dedication and passion of Jessica that the course was developed, and students have successfully graduated. Jessica continues to challenge and progress the agenda of nurse sexual assault examiners, while they await a test of change.
“It is down to the commitment of people like Jess, with her activism and belief that nurses have a vital role to play in providing a trauma informed and person-centred care which she sees as a core requirement to providing this service”.Jacqueline Whitaker, Chief Midwife at NHS Shetland
“The Julie Tekin Award for Outstanding Contribution to Forensic Practice is something very close to our hearts. Not only because of its name’s sake Julie, who was an integral part of our team and forensic community, but also because UKAFNP is about moving our field forward. It was thrilling to receive such high calibre submissions for this year’s award. It was even more thrilling to award this to such a deserving recipient. Jess has made such strides for healthcare professional working in forensics in Scotland. It is down to the activism of people like Jess who forge the way forward, ensuring nurses have a vital role in providing trauma informed car, a key attribute to any service delivery. Well done Jess. ”Jennie Smith, President
“I was very moved to be nominated for this award by my peers who have supported and encouraged me in my work across many years. I am delighted to receive the Julie Tekin award and I wish I had met her. The commitment we show every day for our patients in police custody and examination suites is exacting, and our communities deserve to have the best that we can be. Although my name is on the award, there is no way I could have achieved any of this without the energetic support of colleagues all across the Justice setting. Thank you.”Jessica Davidon, winner of 2022 Julie Tekin Award for Outstanding Contribution to Forensic Healthcare