Apprenticeship Awards 2018
Apprentices at the Countess of Chester Hospital took to the stage for the second consecutive year to celebrate their achievements during National Apprenticeships Week.
The Countess has been offering apprenticeships in a variety of roles – such as appointments clerks, maintenance assistants, healthcare assistants, therapy assistants, purchasing assistants, administrators and many more – since 2014. There are currently 70 apprentices working across the hospital in a variety of areas, including Health Records, Pharmacy, Theatres and Payroll and their importance to the NHS is growing every day.
The Apprentice Awards ceremony, led by Executive Director of People & Organisational Development Sue Hodkinson, saw five different awards given out, with highly commended prizes also presented in each category to an Oscar-themed backdrop of classic film scores.
“It is always special to celebrate the achievements of our amazing staff, but it was a particularly proud moment for me to honour what will be the bedrock of our NHS in the future,” Sue said.
Every apprentice at the hospital gets training on the job, earning while they learn, with support from colleagues and tutors as they work towards nationally recognised qualifications.
Molly Whelan, Widening Participation Lead, and Abi O’Toole, Apprenticeship and Widening Participation Coordinator, look after the apprentices across the Trust and they arranged the successful celebration, which was attended by many of the apprentices, their mentors, general staff and several governors in the Lecture Hall on 8 March.
“Every year I’m blown away by the work of our apprentices,” Molly said. “It’s amazing to be in my role surrounded by fantastic individuals with such enthusiasm, passion and dedication for the NHS.”
Programme Support Officer Demi Jackson, who originally started at the Countess as an apprentice, returned to talk about her experiences and progress since kick-starting her career in the NHS.
“Apprenticeships are something I’m really passionate about because that’s how I got started at the Countess,” Demi said. “It’s a great opportunity to get started in your career and if you want to work hard there are so many opportunities available as a reward.”
See below for a breakdown of the categories, the winners and comments from people who nominated them:
Apprentice of the Year
Winner: Julia Edwards, Appointments Hotline
“Julia takes her work very seriously and has a wonderful way of dealing with patients on the phone as well as her colleagues at the Trust… She is a real pleasure to work with.”
Highly commended: Lauren McGonigle, Urgent Care
“Lauren is always prepared to tackle things she has not done before and she is always positive in her role. Lauren’s willingness to help the wider Urgent Care management team has seen her assisting other areas, such as Cardio Respiratory and Vascular and Cardiac Catheter Suite.”
Highly commended: Emma Davies, Surgical Admissions
“Emma never fails to brighten the room with her smile and friendly manner, and in an often stressful environment, she always remains calm and has shown exceptional communication skills.”
Commitment to Learning
Winner: Peter Kinch, Pharmacy
“Peters NVQ portfolio is of a very high standard he has produced some excellent evidence which is always easy to assess and clearly identifiable within the electronic portfolios. I think he will make an excellent NVQ assessor in the future!”
Highly commended: Katie Kempster, Health Records
“Katie has fitted in with us and is as good as any of us, even though we’ve been here for years.”
Non-clinical Apprentice of the Year
Winner: Sophie West-Jones, Urgent Care
“Sophie has had a positive impact on the Urgent Care Division because once trained she performed to a high standard immediately, we have been able to rely on Sophie, not having to worry if anything has been completed on time.”
Highly commended: Amy King, Appointments Hotline
“Amy embodies what an apprentice should be. She is unflappable, keen to learn and nothing is too much trouble for her. She always goes the extra mile.”
Clinical Apprentice of the Year
Winner: Alexandra Lund, Pharmacy
“Alex has a real can do attitude and this impacts positively on her dispensary colleagues, she always looks for solutions to problems and makes suggestions to improve the service we provide.”
Apprentice Champion of the Year
Winner: Wendy Davies, Admin Team Leader in Urgent Care
“Wendy is always there if I have a problem and really understands. She’s helped me a lot throughout the 10 months I’ve been here by putting me in different departments to gain experience.”
Highly commended: Alyson Field-Baines, Team Leader Surgical Admissions
“Alyson always makes me feel welcome but also gives me confidence in progressing with my career in positive feedback and giving me work which challenges me more.”