Our Trust is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week and it gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about the opportunities offered in a wide range of fields, as well as celebrate the huge contribution our current apprentices make right across our hospitals

We currently have 185 colleagues on apprenticeship programmes. There are a number of roles at SaTH including Customer Service Practitioners, Pharmacy Technicians, Assistant Practitioners – Radiography and Registered Nurses.

We are always looking to expand and apprenticeships introduced last year include Physiotherapist, Senior Healthcare Support – Maternity and Healthcare Science Assistant – Audiology.

Apprenticeships not only offer a pathway for people of any age into the NHS, they also support those already within our organisation to develop and progress in their chosen career. Whichever pathway they chose gives us the opportunity to invest in our colleagues and watch them flourish within the NHS.

One good example of how we’re growing the opportunities within the Trust is in our Medical Engineering Services department where we had our first apprentices for over 25 years start just before the pandemic.

Rhys Arnold, Carnell McKenzie and Kurran Singh Rai are a crucial part of a 33-strong team which manages a mammoth 34,000 medical devices of which over 20,000 are owned by SaTH. Throughout the pandemic they have had a huge role to play and one that perhaps isn’t as well known or as visible as a nurse or a doctor but is just as crucial to keeping our hospitals running smoothly.

It is also good to see that one of the apprentices Rhys who is from Shrewsbury is following in his parents’ footsteps by working for our Trust – sometimes, it seems, working for the NHS is just in your blood!

Keep an eye on our social media accounts this week too (Twitter – @sathNHS , Facebook – @ShrewsburyandTelfordNHS, Insta – @sathnhs) to see some of those who have taken up apprenticeship opportunities with the Trust.

Good luck to our Tissue Viability Team – Sister Clare Checketts, Tissue Viability Clinical Lead Nurse and Sister Leanne Whitfield, Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist – who have made it to the final of the Health Service Journal (HSJ) partnership awards.

They worked with the wound care industry to redesign our acute wound care service and by reducing the number of foam dressings available it reduced costs and waste.

Clare and Leanne have been nominated under the ‘Most effective contribution to patient safety’ category in the HSJ awards. The winners are due to be announced in March and we’ve all got our fingers crossed for them to take the prize.

Finally, a big thank you to a generous young man called Chester. The youngster had a space-themed party for his fifth birthday and instead of presents chose to raise money to buy dolls for Dementia patients at our hospitals. His party raised over £150 for the Dementia Appeal.

The aim of our Dementia Appeal is to assist us with the creation of dementia-friendly spaces and to buy equipment and resources that will help to reduce confusion, anxiety and distress for people living with dementia.

Well done young man and what a kind and compassionate example to set.