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Apprentices some of the first in the UK to pass healthcare science apprenticeship at Queen Alexandra Hospital

Date: 12 August 2019


We are celebrating the recent success of some of our apprentices, who are among some of the first in the UK to pass the Healthcare Science Apprenticeship.

In total, the Trust employs 169 apprentices, with 100 being existing staff looking to develop their career and 69 being brand new to the NHS. The spread of apprenticeships cover both clinical and non-clinical roles, 82 in clinical departments and 87 in non-clinical departments which cover Business and Administration, Engineering Manufacture, Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeships and many more.

Seven apprentices have passed so far, with three passing their Level 2 Healthcare Science Assistant Apprenticeship most recently. These include, Faye Nield, Medical Laboratory Assistant in Blood Sciences and John Allen and Sandra Valence, Hospital Sterilisation and Decontamination Unit (HSDU) Technicians, with John and Sandra being the second and third to pass in the UK.

Faye looks forward to progressing in the pathology department now that she has passed and says: “I am really pleased to have passed as I can now take my next steps in my career progression and move forward to where I want to be in the future, which is hopefully higher in the pathology department to support my colleagues and patients.”

The apprenticeship was introduced to the Trust in 2017 and being the only organisation to provide the training in the South, we welcome apprentices from across the local area including Southampton and the Isle of Wight.

Lisa-Marie Way, Corporate Educator, says: “We are a vocational education centre, delivering not only apprenticeships, but BTECs and internal training. As a Trust, we have been forward thinking with offering apprenticeships as we know that they are a brilliant way to develop staff and allow the local community to take up a career in healthcare.”

The apprenticeship runs for 15 months, concluding with an End Point Assessment where an independent examiner undertakes observations and a professional practice test. Lisa notes: “Following the End Point Assessment, the apprentices receive their results a few weeks later, which can be a pass, merit or distinction.

“So far, we have had seven out of seven successful completers and have even more students currently undertaking the apprenticeship. The apprenticeship is a brilliant stepping stone for people wanting to take the next stage in their career or for someone who wishes to get involved in a department like Pathology and is not sure how.”

Sandra, a mature student, says she really enjoyed her apprenticeship and looks forward to progressing in her career. She says: “I am thrilled to have finished my apprenticeship and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I can now go on to get my technical certificate in Decontamination Sciences which will enable me to progress further in my career.”

The apprentices were praised for their achievement following a certificate presentation with Andrew Flatt, Care Group Director for Clinic Support, who says: “It is fantastic that we have these new apprentices especially given the HSDU qualification who are some of the first in the country to pass, so I am very proud as a Trust that we can be pioneers on this and I wish them very well.”

John Allen, also a mature student, adds: “I am glad I have finally finished my apprenticeship. I had a few hurdles along the way but I have completed it and I am really pleased that I have passed.”

The Trust is keen to expand the qualification to more healthcare science departments, working together as one team to continue to develop staff. To find out more information about the apprenticeships on offer, visit the NHS Jobs website.


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