Photo credit Matt Mosur Photography
More than 150 newly qualified staff from the Department of Health and Social Care have been saluted for their achievements at the Department’s annual Awards and Graduation Ceremony.
The ceremony at the Villa Marina took the form of a traditional graduation, with recipients being invited to receive their certificates from senior academic staff and healthcare professionals, in front of a packed audience of proud friends and family.
The gathering brings together a broad range of people working in the Island’s health and social care sector who have gained qualifications over the past 12 months, to further their knowledge, skills and careers. Also presented on the day were a number of Long Service awards and the Chief Ambulance Officer’s Commendation.
Awarding bodies include City & Guilds through which more than 60 people gained QCF qualifications, from Level 2 Health and Social Care to Leadership awards at Level 5. Specialist skills in dementia care were honoured with BTEC awards, while a signficant number of people gained profesisonal nursing qualifications from the University of Chester. Fourteen people became a Bachelor of Nursing in the Adult field, and five in Mental Health.
Honour degrees, Masters of Science and Postgraduate certificates were awarded in the name of Manchester Metropolitan University, and individuals advanced up the academic ladder with high level qualifications from five other UK universities. The included a PhD for e-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning from Lancaster Univeristy for Dr Lyz Howard, and a Master of Science in Oncology for Noble’s nurse Markie Chestnut after long-term study with Newcastle University.
Academic gowns were the order of the day as University and professional staff joined the Chief Executive of DHSC Dr Malcolm Couch and Member for Health and Social Care Clare Bettison MHK in the platform party on the main Villa stage. Guest of Honour was President of the Royal College of Nursing Dr Cecilia Amin, whose address focused on continuing professional development.
She told recipients:
’Many of you here have dedicated your entire professional lives to caring for the people of the Isle of Man,’ adding ‘I hope tody has gone some way to recognising the sacrifices you’ve made and the lengths you’ve gone to to put your patients first.’
She thanked all award recipients on behalf of the RCN, commenting that over the 40 years of her career, advances in health care amounted to ‘a revolution - with innovation at its core.’ Encouraging staff to continue their learning journeys she added:
‘I know it’s a cliche, but in health care, more than in many other professions, you never stop learing!’
The ceremony’s opening and close were heralded with a Manx bagpipe solo from Dr John Struthers of Ellan Vannin Pipes and Drums, while a choir from Ashley Hill primary school entertained the audience during a break in proceedings.
Overall, around 425 people including awardees, dignitaries, staff and guests enjoyed the occasion on 21 November. A photographer captured shots of the proud day for each award recipient and the celebration was rounded off with refreshments for all.