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NUH News: Nottingham trainee among the brightest and best of the NHS honoured at annual awards ceremony

Outstanding, inspirational staff who embody the values of the NHS have been honoured at a prestigious awards ceremony in London.

The annual Healthcare Education and Training (HEAT) Awards, run by Health Education England (HEE), aim to celebrate all that is very best about education and training in the NHS workforce and help foster an environment of compassionate, high-quality care.

This year’s winners and finalists came from all corners of the NHS, ranging from students and apprentices to tutors, directors and operational managers as well as doctors, nurses, scientists and specialists in a wide array of fields.

One of them was one of Nottingham’s own Monica Korpal, a trainee Nursing Associate currently working on Ward B3 at City Hospital.

Monica was presented with the ‘Inspirational Apprentice Award’ tonight after being recognised as an excellent role model for aspiring nursing associate apprentices and has been credited with inspiring others with her enthusiasm and motivation to learn.

A former bank manager, Monica decided to change career and become a nurse after her husband was diagnosed with cancer just over two years ago. She had always wanted to be a nurse but never pursued it until she and her husband were told that he had testicular cancer.

Monica then decided to give back to the NHS and is currently training to be a nursing associate at the University of Derby, but works 20 hours a week at City Hospital whilst also undertaking other placements.

Following her win, Monica said: “I’m still in shock... I’d like to say a huge thank you to Sue Haines [Assistant Director of Nursing at NUH] for nominating me, but most of all thank you to the Trust and the amazing senior leadership team that have given me so many opportunities to shine. I hope to continue inspiring others to pursue their dreams and nurture the next generation of TNAs.”

Entrants were nominated by colleagues with the winners chosen after three rounds of judging. Winners were announced yesterday (18 July) at the Royal College of Physicians in London, at the culmination of NHS Values Week. Values Week seeks to encourage staff to think about and share how they put the values of the NHS into practice, helping to make the NHS the very best place to work.

The HEAT awards were presented in 13 categories, ranging from Inspirational Trainee and Inspirational Leader to Champion of Diversity, Champion of the NHS Constitution and Inspiring Return To Practice.

Winners were announced at the end of HEE’s 2019 Conference ‘People Where It Matters – Taking Forward The NHS People Plan.’