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Chief Nursing Officer visits for Health Academy Awards

11 December 2019


England’s Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May has visited the James Paget today to present certificates to students at our Senior Health Academy Awards Ceremony.


The James Paget Health Academy continues to go from strength to strength, with many of those taking part going on to train as nurses and other health care professionals. 

Earlier today, Wednesday 11 December, the second group of students to graduate from the programme gave presentations about their experiences and their future direction, with many of the group planning careers in nursing, as paramedics and as bio-medical scientists, among others. 

The Academy sees students from three local colleges – Lowestoft Sixth Form College, East Coast College and East Norfolk Sixth Form College – spend time at the hospital’s education and training centre to learn more about careers in health care and the roles available. 

At the ceremony James Paget Director of Nursing Julia Hunt, who told how she started her career cleaning floors in the hospital as a domestic worker, said; “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. I hope you’ll be thinking that you’ve found a career you’d like to pursue and you can achieve it. There are many paths and you can be successful too.”

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer, said; “The pride and the passion that I’ve seen here today has really touched me. It was wonderful to hear the students’ stories and ambitions for the future. One of my key priorities is our workforce and it has been interesting hearing about the Academy and the experiences of those taking part.”

The Health Academy was established in early 2018 with the aim of encouraging young people to consider a career in health care. The idea was to provide a pathway for young people to get into health careers and signpost them to further education and training, and boost recruitment to the hospital.

The Health Academy gives students from local colleges, aged 16 , and younger school pupils the opportunity to learn more about the different jobs available in the NHS and to learn from professionals working in different health care fields. 

Senior Academy applicants go through a semi-formal route – a paper application and an interview – providing an insight into the job application process. Those successful in their applications continue their studies at their College but are released for a few days over a six month period to take part in sessions at the hospital’s on-site Education and Training Centre. 

These sessions cover things like infection control, resuscitation and medical techniques as well as interview skills and patient care sessions.

The hospital has been working with the Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (Neaco) and local colleges and schools on the programme. Health Education England (HEE) are now supporting the work with the Academy concept being rolled out regionally.

You can find out more about the Health Academy here


Ruth May (in mid-blue top, centre) with our Education and Practice Development team and previous Health Academy students who are now student nurses.