The Department of Health has rounded off 2013 with its annual Awards Ceremony, this year held at the Royal Hall, Villa Marina. Dr Kewley-Draskau opened the ceremony to celebrate and recognise the academic and vocational achievements and diligence of over 140 workers in health and social care settings across the Island.
Dr Jennifer Kewley-Draskau, renowned linguist and author of the recent book on Illiam Dhone, gave a fascinating and very appropriate address, and having presented awards, described the ceremony event as “a splendid, impressive and fitting ceremony to recognise all these excellent academic and vocational achievements.”
The ceremony had a very Manx flavour with each of the invited speakers referring to the Island as a special place to live, study and work, with some dropping in Manx Gaelic words to their speeches. The Ellan Vannin Pipe Major, Paul Davenport wearing Manx tartan led the students in with the stirring pipe music of ‘Highland Cathedral’ and a Manx flag on his pipes. The vocational and academic awards achieved by over 140 health and social care workers were recognised and applauded.
Mr Dudley Butt, Member for Health kindly presented the Queen’s Nurse Award, a major accolade which is held by only a handful of nurses in the Island, to two Health Visitors – June Kelly and Nicole Hara. In receiving this coveted title, they have demonstrated their on-going commitment to patient-centred values and continually improving practice. Mr Butt MLC also presented all the students of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and dental nursing courses with their certificates.
Mr Butt said:
'It is a tribute to the Department and senior management that despite the financial challenges that the whole of Government face, the great importance of learning and development continues to be recognised. Without it our staff would be much less well prepared to face the daily challenges. Education inspires, motivates and instils confidence. I wish all of the successful learners well in their future studies and in their careers.'
Mr David Killip, Department of Health Chief Executive, presented long service awards to staff who have been with the Department of Health for 20, 30 and 40 years. A long service award for 40 years was presented to Voirrey Kewley – QCF Co-ordinator, for The Learning Team, who was instrumental in the setting up of the programme and started her career as a registered nurse having trained at Noble’s Hospital. Voirrey said:
'I have been very lucky to have a career that I thoroughly enjoy.'
Also awarded for 40 years long service was Sue Rafferty – Health Records Manager, a position that she has held, albeit with many changes, since 1989 having started her career in the Pathology Department. Sue said that she could remember being the first member of staff in the hospital to have computer word processor, which shows the amount of change she has embraced throughout her career.
Mr Killip also presented a number of Institute of Leadership and Management certificates to staff who have completed the programme, facilitated locally by TLC Business Solutions.
Chief Executive, David Killip said:
'Once again it gives me great pleasure to attend this ceremony and join with the Department’s staff, their families and friends to recognise the very significant achievements of all our students. I hope the grandeur and dignity of this illustrious assembly has been a fitting tribute to all concerned. To quote Cicero the Roman Philosopher: ‘Cultivation of the mind is as necessary as food for the body’ and King Alfred the Great: ‘He seems to me a very foolish man who will not increase his understanding while he is in the world’. Thank you all for recognising as many before have, the value of learning and applying it – well done!
'It is reassuring that with the training opportunities available, our staff can keep attuned to developments in their fields of practice. I am very proud, not only of the students but of their tutors and mentors together with the administrative staff delivering and supporting all our programmes through Keyll Darree. Without them, these programmes would not be possible and therefore our staff would be less well equipped to deal with the challenge of doing more with less.'
The collaborative partnerships between the Department’s Learning Team, the University of Chester and Manchester Metropolitan University enables students to achieve very high standards with 48% achieving First Class Honours degrees compared with a UK national average of only 16%. Professor Tim Wheeler, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, presented Bachelor of Nursing degrees, along with the community nursing, mentorship and prescribing awards. Paul Tubbs, Associate Dean at Manchester Metropolitan University presented BSc Health Studies awards.
In the grand setting of the Villa Marina Royal Hall, the splendour of the occasion was recognised by all to honour the accomplishments of all the students and their lecturers and trainers.