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Three Gloucestershire NHS apprentices were awarded for their commitment and service to the NHS at a special regional awards ceremony.

Jess Carmen, Meg Cooke and Amanda Spencer, from Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, won accolades at Health Education England’s Star Awards, which recognise the best in education and training in the South West’s health and social care sector. The trio attended the awards ceremony on Tuesday 6 March at Somerset County Cricket Ground. 

Jess Carman, an apprentice endoscopy nurse at Stroud General Hospital, was named Advanced Apprentice of the Year. She first visited the hospital as a work experience student and spent a day with the endoscopy team, which really appealed to her. Jess’s workplace manager said: “Jess has been amazing since the first day she started in endoscopy. She works incredibly hard and also helps others in the team without being asked. Jess is extremely caring and compassionate with the patients. Just that kind smile goes a long way! Nothing is too much trouble for her.”

Meg Cooke, who works in podiatry in Stroud, was named Intermediate Apprentice of the Year. She joined the Trust in July 2017, with the ultimate aim of becoming a podiatrist. During the snow at the start of March, Meg was so committed to her job that she walked five miles to work and back. Tina Craig, head of podiatry at the Trust, said: “Megan really has exceeded all expectations in delivering first class patient care. She is courteous and interested in patients and good at forming a rapport. A recent patient comment card stated: ‘Thank you so much for persevering with me. Even though I am in a lot of pain, I would not have been able do to it without you.’ This is a real testament to how all of our patients feel about her.”

Amanda Spencer, former e-rostering trainer at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (now with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust), scooped the Higher Apprentice of the Year award. Amanda recently completed a Business Administration apprenticeship, and was responsible for implementing and training colleagues in a new electronic system. She helped reduce administration time for clinicians, allowing them to spend more time on patient care. Sally Pitt, Bank Staff Coordinator, said; “She is helpful and organised and always had time to listen and manage our queries regarding rostering management. Mandy got involved in issues and had the ability to give us an answer, and if not, always got back to us to provide us with support.“

Jonathan Hall, Apprenticeship Facilitator from Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to learn new skills whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. There are so many opportunities available within the NHS in Gloucestershire, including at local community hospitals that might be located near to your home. The support that is given to our apprentices is outstanding and this has shown through with Jess, Meg and Amanda being recognised for their hard work at the Star Awards.”

Pictured: Jess Carmen, Amanda Spencer and Meg Cooke

16 March 2018