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Apprentice is a hospital hero

Olivia Radford, an 18 year-old Apprentice from Nottingham, has been nominated for a prestigious Health Hero Award, as well as receiving multiple nominations in the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) annual Team NUH Awards, after just eight months in her role.

Olivia, who works as a Healthcare Assistant, joined the healthcare Apprenticeship scheme offered by the Trust in November 2018. Based on the Healthcare of Older Persons (HCOP) ward at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Olivia’s compassion, enthusiasm and ability hasn’t gone unnoticed by her colleagues, and her patients.

Consultant Physician, Dr Hui Tay, who nominated Olivia for the Health Hero Award, an initiative run by Skills for Health to recognise and celebrate excellence in healthcare, said: “Olivia acts as a role-model, not only for all other apprentices, but for other young people, who should be inspired by Olivia’s dedication to caring for people. Patients can feel lonely and vulnerable in hospital. Olivia always spends time talking to the patients she looks after to brighten their days, and dresses them in their home clothes to maintain their independence.

“Olivia was caring for a dying patient, whose family member was very distressed. Olivia took the time to talk to her, ensuring she wasn’t alone and offering her drinks to calm her.”

The Health Heroes Awards – now in their fourth consecutive year – celebrate the healthcare workers who they describe as the ‘backbone’ of the sector, from Apprentices, to support workers, integrated teams, to workforce planners.

Since 2017, close to 400 new Apprentices have taken their first steps towards a career in the NHS and all it can offer at NUH. The Apprenticeship route offers new starters the chance to learn alongside hands-on practical experience, as well as offering existing staff a development pathway.

As well as this nomination Olivia has been recognised for her work by other colleagues at the Trust. Nurse Monica Jose, who has nominated Olivia for a Team NUH ‘Apprentice of the Year Award’, said: “Olivia is incredible with patient care and communication – that’s her superpower! At a young age she has a brilliant work ethic, and is packed with great knowledge. She’s always willing to learn from others, and her presence makes a real difference in our ward area.”

The annual Team NUH Awards, supported by Nottingham Hospitals Charity, recognise staff from across the organisation that go above-and-beyond to provide outstanding care and innovation for patients who access services at Queen’s Medical Centre, City Hospital and Ropewalk House.

Open for public nominations, the Team NUH Awards are an opportunity for staff both on the frontline and behind-the-scenes to be recognised for the work they do. Nominations for the Team NUH Awards can be made through the NUH website: www.nuh.nhs.uk/teamnuhawards. The shortlist will be announced in early autumn, with the winners being announced at a glittering event in December.

Asked about her multiple nominations, Oliva said: “It feels like an honour [to be recognised] because I’ve only been here a short time, but it feels like I’ve made a difference already. My favourite part of working on C54 are the staff…everyone is so close, we feel like a family.”

And her advice for anyone considering an Apprenticeship in the NHS: “Make sure you grab every opportunity, because it might not come around again!”