Staffordshire biomedical scientists honoured at healthcare awards
Two biomedical scientists from Staffordshire received an award at this year’s Advancing Healthcare Awards (AHA). Held on 20th April in London, scientists from around the UK were honoured for their innovations to improving patient care.
The team, comprised of IBMS members Ian Davies and Katie Berger, received the IBMS-sponsored AHAward for ‘inspiring the biomedical workforce of the future’.
They were awarded for their project, ‘Sustainable workforce planning through healthcare science degree apprenticeships’. This curriculum established a part-time training route that would enable support staff to train as biomedical scientists, linked to the new degree apprenticeship standards.
Ian explained, “Utilising the Trust apprenticeship levy to fund the degree means that this now provided a financially sustainable way for Trusts to develop their own staff and offer an alternative route into degree education which enhances social mobility and widens participation in health education – it is targeted at staff who may have lacked the formal qualification or the opportunity to access university education in the traditional ‘post-school’ format.
For us, the value is also the wider connection that this demonstrates between the university and NHS Trusts; by identifying employer need and then working with Trust colleagues to design a programme that is fit for purpose is exactly what our Connected University philosophy is all about.”
An important part of the curriculum was the varied method of delivery - a blend of online learning, work-based experiential learning and on-campus study days. This has enabled laboratories to plan training and education around the needs of the service and allows students to directly apply their knowledge in practice.
Katie said, “I am extremely honoured to have received this award on behalf of the University Hospitals of North Midlands in conjunction with Ian Davies from Staffordshire University. We have worked closely together to establish an innovative healthcare science degree to enable the best medical laboratory assistants and associate practitioners to study within their workplace to become biomedical scientists through an apprenticeship scheme.
To be acknowledged with this award for inspiring the biomedical workforce of the future, sponsored by the IBMS, is fantastic. I am absolutely over the moon, working with Staffordshire University was fantastic and now to be recognised formally is a wonderful feeling.
I must also give credit to all the students on the new degree but from my perspective particularly the UHNM cohort; Jess, Adrian, Jacob, Katie, Rebecca, Donna and Dominic whose inspiring stories helped us to win this award. I’m looking forward to seeing them graduate and become amazing biomedical scientists in a few years.
Personally, I am genuinely humbled. It was a fantastic day anyway and hearing the stories of other scientists and what amazing things are achieved by us every day was awe inspiring. We now have a new way to study for the next generation of scientists.”
IBMS President Alison Geddis said, “I am delighted Ian and Katie have won this award. I am thrilled they were recognised for such an important innovation, which will allow for many more promising biomedical science staff to enter the profession.”
We wish Ian and Katie our warmest congratulations on receiving this award.