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An event to celebrate the collaboration between sixth form students and Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust was held at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital Education Centre today.

Sponsored by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, the work placement scheme involved a variety of hospital based projects undertaken by 13 students from various schools in Birmingham.

Organised by Creative Futures, this event was designed to showcase the results of these placements. The scheme is designed to encourage careers in healthcare and provide sixth form students with hands on experience in a hospital environment.

Lynda Steele, Service Improvement Manager at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The hospital provides mentors for the students and this has enabled them to produce reports for various departments that could potentially improve their services. This is a win-win situation as not only do the students gain valuable experience, we also gain the benefit of their ideas.”

The projects on display varied from new website designs to studies in accident and emergency transportation injuries.
A number of awards were presented at the event by Clive Wilkinson, Chairman of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. The Heart of England Award was won by James Taylor, an 18 year old student from Joseph Leckie sixth form, who created a training manual for the Trust’s website.

Qaddafi Yasin, an 18 year old student from King Edward’s sixth form in Aston, worked on a project in which he researched injuries that occurred by transportation on buses. He said:

“This was an excellent opportunity which I really enjoyed as I want to be a doctor. We managed to produce some surprising results which are actually going to be published in a medical journal. It really encourages you to want to work in healthcare so that you can help people.”

The scheme organiser, Creative Futures, is a national provider of healthcare placements for sixth form students. They aim to give students key skills qualifications and valuable experience that can assist them with their UCAS forms.


Birmingham boxer Wayne Elcock visited Heartlands to honour the Trust’s Activate project that helps local unemployed people get work in the health sector.

Middleweight champion, Wayne presented certificates at the hospital’s first ever ceremony, and inspired the hard-working learners in their aim to find employment in the health sector. He said:

“I’m delighted to encourage and promote such a great scheme which will help make Heartlands an even better environment.”

David Donovan joined Activate in April, having been made redundant from the Birmingham Mint after 33 years of service. He worked in the Clinical Governance department during his Activate training and successfully secured a job as audit assistant soon after completing the project.  He said:

“I was out of work at the wrong age and my confidence had been badly knocked. Activate got me back in touch with the requirements of today’s work processes, and continuously encouraged and supported me.”

Scheme Co-ordinator Julia Buckley said:

“We have successfully supported over 30 people, nine of which are now working for the Trust. This is a major achievement for some of our candidates as they have little or no qualifications.”

Well done to all those who received certificates!


Matron Marjorie Small has created new picture signs to help patients, and particularly patients who need to be nursed in isolation, to understand the importance of scrubbing-up.

The new picture signs are designed to help people who have difficulty reading or understanding written signs.  The signs are a way of communicating the importance of scrubbing-up when entering isolation rooms so to avoid and reduce infection reaching patients with low immune systems. Matron Small told Heart and Soul:

“The relative of a patient told me that there’s an assumption that everyone can read, which isn’t true, the picture signs are a good idea to teach those who struggle to read the words. This also demonstrates that we listen to our user feedback and do wherever possible try to tailor our service to meet their needs.

“The old signs just said ‘ Please speak to a Nurse before entering the room, but now there is a range of picture which have been very successful  There is still writing on them, which means both people who can and can’t read will benefit and nobody is left out.”

The signs were designed by our own Medical Illustration and kindly posed for by a team of Marjorie’s nurses and admin workers.

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