Developing career pathways is one of the many ways in which we support colleagues working at the Trust to progress in their roles.

I am pleased that three of our support workers in maternity services will be starting a Midwifery Degree Apprenticeship for the first time. At the end of the three-year programme they will be qualified midwives.

The theory for the programme will be taught by the University of Wolverhampton but all three will be on placement at our Trust.

We are also sending three more of our support workers to Birmingham City University to complete the Senior Healthcare Support Worker (Maternity) Apprenticeship. This 12-month programme will enable them to gain new skills and will see the Women’s Services Assistants progress to Maternity Support Workers.

Good luck to all those due to start their programmes in September. It is wonderful to see how keen they are to develop and progress and we are so pleased that we can offer them the chance to further their careers at our Trust.

Apprenticeships not only provide people with the opportunity to develop skills with on-the-job experience while studying, but they allow us to grow our own talent.

Thank you to all those who nominated their own hospital heroes for the Shropshire Star Public Recognition Award as part of our annual Trust Celebratory Awards.

Last year’s winner of the Public Recognition Award Lorna McQuaid, a Bank Healthcare Assistant, was described as an “outstanding” member of staff who treats patients with “care and compassion.”

Lorna said the award meant so much to her to be recognised for something she had done.

Her comments show that it really does mean the world to my colleagues and it is a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate the care they provide.

A panel of judges now has the difficult task of shortlisting this year’s nominations.

A public vote will then take place and you will be given the opportunity to choose your winner, so please keep an eye out in the Shropshire Star and online to see how to cast your final vote.

The winner will be announced at our virtual staff awards in November. How will the public find out need to say here.

Today, the Trust’s Annual General Meeting is being held and gives us the opportunity to share how we are improving and investing in our services despite the challenges we, and our health partners, face.

Attendees will hear of some of our achievements at the Trust, including investments in our services such as endoscopy and oncology and the difference that this is making for our patients.