Apprentices celebrated at health and care Awards ceremony

Apprentices from across Lancashire and South Cumbria were celebrated at the region’s first NHS Health and Care Apprenticeship Awards. 

More than 250 people attended the glittering ceremony held at Stanley House in Blackburn and hosted by The Apprentice’s Aaron Willis. Lead organiser Ruth Keeler, strategic lead for careers and engagement at Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership, and Maria Coupe from The Shout Network wanted the awards to recognise the hard work, commitment and skill of the many apprentices working in health and care across the region.

Ruth Keeler, strategic lead for careers and engagement at Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership, said: “It was a fantastic evening and I’m so pleased we were able to celebrate our apprentices in this way. It’s been a challenging few years in health and care and it’s only right that we take this time to celebrate and thank our apprentices for their efforts.”

Having received almost 300 nominations across 11 categories, including the Above and Beyond, Rising Star and Clinical Apprentice of the Year awards, a team of judges from education, careers and widening participation services from the region selected winners and runners-up in each award category.

Ruth Keeler added: “The quality of the nominations was outstanding. We had representatives from across social care, primary care, local authorities, North West Ambulance Service and hospital trusts in our region. Our judges had a tough task but our winners and runners-up were truly exceptional.”

Sarah O’Brien, chief nurse designate for the NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, said: “I would like to congratulate the winners and thank all of the nominees. They are the future of health and care in our region and to know that we have such dedicated, hard-working and skilled people working with us is hugely encouraging. I hope our first NHS Health and Care Apprenticeship Awards helped to show how much apprentices are valued across Lancashire and South Cumbria.”

North West Ambulance Service scooped the Employer of the Year award sponsored by Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership. Judges were impressed by the organisation’s commitment to enabling their apprentices to have off-the-job training, which the judges thought went above and beyond the call of duty as well as their impressive retention of staff on completion of their apprenticeship. 

Maria Coupe from Shout Network said: “This was a great opportunity to acknowledge the fantastic work that apprentices in NHS and social care roles do for their patients, colleagues and communities. The judges’ comments applauded their commitment to their work, and it was wonderful to hear such praise for people who are just beginning their careers in this sector.”

A list of award winners and runners-up in each category is available on the website at www.nhsappwards.co.uk                          

The NHS Health and Care Apprenticeship Awards 2022 are sponsored by the University of Central Lancashire, Blackburn College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, the University of Cumbria, Furness College, Health Education England, Kendal College, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub, Lancaster and Morecambe College, Preston College, Runshaw College and Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership.