Donna Morris, final year student on the Applied Biomedical Science BSc Honours degree apprenticeship and Trainee Biomedical Scientist at Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, has been awarded an NHS Employers Award for outstanding achievement by an allied health professional (AHP), healthcare science apprentice.

Student Donna Morris standing next to PCR COVID testing machines
Pictured: Donna Morris using SAMBA II PCR machines

The Advanced Healthcare Awards recognise AHPs, healthcare scientists and those in support roles and projects from across the UK that make a difference to patients’ lives but whose achievements often go unnoticed. The winners were revealed in a virtual ceremony in May.

NHS Employers, the employers’ organisation for the NHS in England, sponsor the award for outstanding achievement by an AHP or healthcare science apprentice. The award was given to Donna for her work in the laboratory workplace project entitled ‘Verification, Validation and Implementation of Point-of-Care Testing for SARS-CoV-2’ in the A&E Emergency Department using SAMBA II PCR machines, which has facilitated timely testing for COVID-19. Her work was instrumental in positively impacting the patient experience and flow throughout the hospital during the pandemic.

During the virtual ceremony Caroline Waterfield, Director of Development and Employment at NHS Employers, presented the award to Donna and said that she had won due to her contributions to how her work has been rolled out. She also said that this was a great opportunity to raise the profile of biomedical science, and thanked the nominees for their contributions.

Donna began her studies at Westminster on a foundation degree in Biomedical and Physiological Sciences in September 2016. On successful completion, she transferred into year 3 of the Applied Biomedical Science BSc Honours degree apprenticeship. 

Degree apprenticeships at Westminster combine academic study, practical experience and the wider employment skills vital for career success. Apprentices are employed in full-time paid positions, learning on the job while studying for their degree qualification through an 80/20 split of on-and-off-the-job training.

Talking about receiving the award, Donna said: “I was completely overwhelmed to receive this award, let alone be nominated, and I am thrilled to have made such a positive impact.  The work that we as healthcare scientists carry out in the laboratory is often unseen, despite being so instrumental to patient care and so it is great to receive such recognition. I am extremely grateful to have been given such an opportunity by my work place and also for the support given by my lecturers at the University of Westminster.” 

Chrystalla Ferrier, Course Leader for the Applied Biomedical Science BSc Honours course, added: “Donna is an excellent student, and I am immensely proud of her achievement and all the contributions she has made to our courses.”

Find out more about Biological and Biomedical Sciences courses at the University of Westminster.

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