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Six finalists for Trust in Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards

This article is more than two years old.

Oxford University Hospitals has secured six places on the shortlist for the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards.

The Trust is delighted to be shortlisted in the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (50+) category, open to larger employers in Oxfordshire, regardless of sector, that have exceeded normal standards and expectations in providing a high-quality Apprenticeship experience.

We have 257 apprentices, compared to 148 in 2019, and we have been praised by Ofsted for the support we provide to young people. 50 apprentices graduated last year and most are still with us. As well as being on the shortlist, the Trust is also sponsoring the Schools Award category.

Shortlisted for Advanced Apprentice of the Year (Level 3) - and Apprentice Ambassador of the Year - is Sophie Pomroy, Organisational Development Apprentice, who was instrumental in the creation of our OUH Apprenticeship Network for apprentices aged 16-25.

She has worked across a number of roles, supporting our Staff Survey and Staff Recognition event, and last year picked up a Silver Award at the National Skills for Health Awards. She's come a long way since choosing to leave her University course and take a different path - and now acts as an Apprenticeship Ambassador, talking to school pupils across the county.

"I do what I do every day because I enjoy it so much" says Sophie, "and I'm proud to work for the NHS."

Two of our apprentices are shortlisted for the Higher Apprentice of the Year (Level 4 and above) category.

Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) Amy Stirton works at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury, and was one of the first TNAs to join our theatre team. Her role includes preparing thoroughly for surgery - setting up complex instruments, keeping everything sterile and passing instruments to the surgical team as they are needed.

For patients having a local anaesthetic, her compassion and communication skills have been a fantastic asset in helping to maintain a calm and relaxed environment. Outside the theatre, her blog and growing social media presence has brought national attention to the Nursing Associate role.

Amy says her apprenticeship has changed her life, and given her "the opportunity to follow my dreams".

Advanced Clinical Practitioner Mandy Hallifax previously worked for Gynaecology as a Staff Nurse, and has worked in our Community Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit as a Specialist Nurse Sonographer for four years. The Unit specialises in complications, such as miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.

Mandy says the apprenticeship has "given me autonomy and confidence in my role. It is a varied job which involves moments of happiness - but also delivering bad news". She sees her future as taking on more responsibility and increasing the research carried out in the Unit so it can continue to provide "excellent care".

Shortlisted for the Shining Star Award is Advanced Laboratory Support Worker Jack Dobson. Jack joined the Diagnostic Microbiology Department in November 2017 at 18 years old. He very quickly progressed to complex and specialist support work of both a manual and automated nature. His current role includes responsibility for equipment and analysers, sorting faults and dealing with reports and enquiries. 

Described as "a role model and an asset", Jack was also our OUH Young Apprentice of the Year 2018. He now supports our new apprentices in a 'buddy' role to ensure they feel welcome, and is also in his second year of an academically-demanding Biomedical Science Degree - and "loving it".

The winners will be announced at a live online event on Thursday 1 October from 7.00pm.

Terry Roberts, OUH Chief People Officer, says:

"We're very proud of our Practice Development and Education Team, and everyone who has chosen to develop their career with us in this way. It is wonderful news, but not surprising, to hear we have secured so many places on the shortlist for these Awards.

"Fingers crossed for the big night, and I encourage anyone thinking of taking up an apprenticeship with the NHS to get in touch with our fantastic team."

Sam Foster, OUH Chief Nursing Officer, says:

"Apprenticeships are a great way to grow our workforce for the future so we can continue to provide the best possible patient care.

"We're delighted see the Trust's team and apprentices recognised in this way and we wish them every success on the night!"

Register to attend the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards online event  

List of categories and finalists

Apprenticeships at Oxford University Hospitals

Follow the event on the night with #OAAwards2020 on Twitter @OxonApprentice, Instagram and Facebook.